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First-class stamp going up to 44 cents

WASHINGTON – The post office will get an extra 2 cents worth when you mail a letter starting in May.

The U.S. Postal Service announced Tuesday that the price of a first-class stamp will rise to 44 cents on May 11.

That gives plenty of time to stock up on Forever Stamps, which will continue to sell at the current 42-cent rate until the increase occurs. They will remain valid in the future regardless of rate hikes.

Postage rates go up annually in May, with the new prices announced in February. The overall change is tied to the rate of inflation in the year before.

While the new 44-cent rate covers the first ounce of first-class mail, the price for each additional ounce will remain unchanged at 17-cents.

Postal officials estimate the increase will cost the average household $3-a-year.

Buffeted by rising costs and declining mail volume, the Postal Service lost $2.8 billion last year.

Other changes taking effect May 11:

•The postcard stamp increases 1-cent to 28 cents.

•The first ounce of a large envelope increases 5 cents to 88 cents.

•The first ounce of a parcel increases 5 cents to $1.22.