MAY 3, 2006 - Posted at 1:57 p.m. CST
WASHINGTON (AP) - How many stamps would you buy if you knew the price would never go up?
Even as the Postal Service's governing board voted today to seek a three-cent increase in the price of a stamp to 42 cents, it's proposing a "forever" stamp that could always be used to mail a letter now matter how much postal rates go up.
The price of a stamp just went up to 39 cents in January. The earliest a rate increase would go into effect is next May, if approved by the Postal Rate Commission.
The forever stamp would help soften the blow of a rate increase by allowing customers to stock up. Here's how it would work. It would sell for the first class rate and, once purchased, would remain valid for whatever the first-class rate is, regardless of the price of a stamp.