|page 67 of 74|
Postal Service financial results in 2005 and beyond. Congress is considering legislation that would amend P. L. 108–18 consistent with the Postal Service's recommendations. However the specific provision for amending P. L. 108–18 is part of a broad Postal Reform bill currently before Congress. That legislation incorporates many of the recommendations contained in the July 31, 2003 Report of the President's Commission on the United States Postal Service. At the close of the 108th Congress, that legislation had not yet been acted upon.
By law, the Postal Service is authorized to receive two types of appropriations from the federal government — for public service costs and revenue forgone. Previously, transitional appropriations provided a means to fund costs related to the former Post Office Department (POD) and thereby shelter ratepayers from such costs. Workers' compensation costs related to claims arising prior to July 1, 1971, were the last known POD cost. In the Balanced Budget Reform Act of 1997 Congress transferred responsibility for these costs to the Postal Service and rescinded the section of Title 39 that authorized transitional appropriations to the Postal Service.
Currently, appropriations are made only for revenue forgone. These accounted for less than 0.1 percent of total Postal Service revenue in 2004. During 1971, the final year of the POD prior to creation of the Postal Service, appropriations totaled almost 25 percent of total revenue.
The Postal Service currently is authorized to request up to $460 million for public service costs. This is the amount authorized by the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 and is not intended to represent the present cost of providing universal service. The Postal Service has neither requested nor received any public service costs reimbursement since 1982. This is the equivalent of returning $10 billion to the U. S. government and taxpayers.
|Appropriation Category||Income From
as a Precent(%) of
Total Mail Revenue
|1971*||8,752||6,665||Deficiency in rates and fees,
and Public Service
|1976||blank||blank||Free and Reduced-Rate Mail||725||blank|
|blank||blank||Reconciliation for Prior Years||none||blank|
|1986||blank||blank||Free and Reduced-Rate Mail||750||blank|
|blank||blank||Reconciliation for Prior Years||(34)||blank|
|1996||blank||blank||Free and Reduced-Rate Mail||93||blank|
|2004||blank||blank||Free Mail for the Blind and
|blank||blank||Reconciliation for Prior Years||(19)||blank|
*The amounts for 1971 are from the Post Office Department in the year prior to the creation of the Postal Service.
**This amount does not include the appropriation for Post Office Department Transitional Costs.