Local News

N.C. Government Ready For 2-Cent Postage Rate Increase

Posted January 8, 2006

— North Carolina's state government drops more than $36 million a year on postage, meaning the increase in postal rates that starts Sunday could come as a big budget hit.

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    U.S. Postal Service

    But state officials say they have been expecting a rate increase for a while, and trying to find as many ways as possible to keep their mail costs down as they send out Medicaid payments, tax refund checks and those notices that driver's licenses are about to expire.

    Assistant State Budget Officer Tom Newsome says North Carolina saves about 40 percent on mail costs by using its own courier service. The service handles inter-office mail between departments in Raleigh, as well as letters to county social service and mental health departments.

    The state also gets a discount by pre-sorting its mail.

    And agencies have also tried to put as many services as possible on the Internet, including auto registration and sportsman's licenses. Newsome says that practice will continue to grow.

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