Postage increases by two cents

Bethany Jones

Postage rates increased to 39 cents on Jan. 8. The two-cent increase is the first to take place since 2002.

Legislation requiring the Postal Service to establish a $3.1 billion escrow account this year caused the increase. It is a 5.4 percent increase across the board.

Dave Van Allen, spokesman for the Northern Ohio district of the U.S. Postal Service, said the Postal Service has been running efficiently and there would not have been an increase if it were not for the law Congress passed.

Van Allen said the Postal Service does not receive any tax subsidies, and it must pay for all costs.

“Every time gas goes up one penny, it adds $8 million to our costs, annually,” he said. “We’re affected by the increase of everything, just like anything else.”

Van Allen said this increase was not due to fuel prices, but there will undoubtedly be increases in the future.

John Gosky, director of administrative services for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, said his division received adjustments from the university budget office because of the postage increase from 34 cents to 37 cents that took place in 2002 in fiscal year 2003.

Gosky said the postage increase mostly affects three departments of the university; the Bursar’s Office, Admissions and Student Financial Aid.

In fiscal year 2003, the Bursar’s Office received $7,700, Admissions received $7,500 and Student Financial Aid received a little over $5,000 to offset the postage increase.

“We would be hopeful that we would receive additional funding this year,” he said.

Denise Zelko-Schraitle, director of budget and internal audit, said the Bursar’s Office, Admissions and Student Financial Aid could expect to receive between $15,000 and $20,000 in next year’s budget, which runs from July 1 to June 30.

Patty Lowe, secretary for the University Registrar, said the office deals mostly through electronic mail. It is partly due to budget constraints but mainly because it is more efficient.

Lowe said the Registrar’s Office must mail out documents, such as transcripts, when requested by students.

Nancy Schiappa, associate director of Alumni Relations, said unlike other departments of the university, funding for the Alumni Association comes directly from member dues.

Schiappa said Alumni Relations budgeted enough to cover the two-cent increase.

“We factor in a small margin to absorb minimal increases. I think we’re going to be OK.”

Schiappa said it is helpful that the increase fell in the middle of the fiscal year because most of their mailings are done during the fall semester around homecoming. They remain steady with mailings until they begin to pick up around April.

Schiappa said Alumni Relations does use a lot of electronic mail, such as a monthly electronic newsletter. Using electronic services does help to eliminate the cost of postage, but they must still pay for service and software to keep up with mass e-mails, she said.

Contact enterprise reporter Bethany Jones at [email protected].