First-Class Stamp Could Rise to 49 Cents

September 25, 2013 Updated Sep 25, 2013 at 8:53 PM EDT

By John Borsa

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September 25, 2013 Updated Sep 25, 2013 at 8:53 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - A first-class postage stamp could soon rise to 49 cents starting next year under a proposal by the U.S. Postal Service.

The cash-strapped organization says it needs the extra money to balance the books.

If approved, the price of a stamp would jump by three cents in January.

"Instead of just asking for the Consumer Price Index rate increase which is about 1.5%, we are also asking for an emergency -- an exigent price increase which could result in a couple extra pennies." explained spokesperson for the post office in Buffalo, Karen Mazurkiewicz.

One way to avoid a possible increase, Mazurkiewicz said, is to invest in Forever Stamps. They are currently 46 cents and never expire.

The postal service is trying to deal with a $20 billion deficit.