On Monday, SIIA joined with a broad coalition of postal customers
urging Congress to leave the postal rate-making process to Postal Regulatory
Commission (PRC). While digital content
is at the heart of most SIIA member company business models, many of our
members remain committed to the Postal Service and its long-term viability for
continued delivery of periodicals and first class mail to customers.
Today, the U.S. Postal Service announced via its Postal Explorer webpage that it will move forward the expected rollback of the 4.3% exigent rate increase for market dominant products. The revised prices reflecting those reduced rates are contained in their webpage. The exigent rate increase went into effect in January of 2014. Expiration of this temporary increase has been expected, as the cost recovery established by the Postal Regulatory Commission will be fulfilled around the end of March or first part of April.
As the USPS noted in their statement, Congressional or Court action is still possible which could extend or make the rate permanent, but absent such action, the Postal Service intends to provide formal notice to the PRC 45 days prior to the date it projects the exigent surcharge revenue target will be reached.
Yesterday, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) handed down what will—hopefully—be the final word on the 4.3 percent exigent rate hike (or surcharge) that was granted in late 2013 and the subject of litigation for the last 18+months. That is, the PRC, through an expedited process, made a decision to address issues presented in the exigent rate case that was recently remanded to the Commission by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers v. Postal Regulatory Commission, 2015 WL 3513394 (D.C. Cir. June 5, 2015).
Today, the US Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit released its long-awaited decision on the United States Postal Service (USPS) exigency case. In general, the decision provides very good news for the mailing community by agreeing with our assessment that the 4.3 percent exigent –emergency—rate increase adopted in 2013 should not be made permanent. Shortly after the case was filed, SIIA-ABM joined in filing a legal brief urging the court to rule against a permanent application of the rate increase. In summary, the Court upheld the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) decision in part, and remanded the decision in part for further consideration by the PRC. The Court’s key findings are as follows: