Comments on Rate Case Settlement Due Today

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Postal rates could increase as early as June if the U.S. Postal Service gets its way as talks continue for a possible rate case settlement.


The date is four months earlier than many anticipated, but insiders don't expect anything to be decided until Congress determines how much money it will give the USPS to deal with the after-effects of Sept. 11 and security issues concerning anthrax.


Insiders said a confidential draft proposal has been distributed to those taking part in the meetings, including ADVO Inc., McGraw Hill, the Direct Marketing Association and Postcom. Reportedly, the settlement also won't preclude the postal service from filing another rate case at any time.


While none of this information could be confirmed with any of the parties involved, mailers are not likely to sign off on the proposal. Those involved in the negotiations must turn in their comments to postal officials today.


George Omas, acting chairman of the Postal Rate Commission, began floating the idea of a negotiated rate case settlement earlier this fall. A rate case settlement means that all parties agree not to take the case to the oral and hearing stages and instead settle on what the increase will be. If approved, the rate case would be approved in its entirety. According to that, rates would increase an average 8.7 percent across the board.


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