Post office box fees are tied to property values
Fresh from seeing their property taxes jump as much as 200 percent in some cases, Port Aransans are now looking at the same prospect with their post office boxes.
Because, as it turns out, the price of a post office box is tied to Port Aransas' total citywide property values.
Port Aransas Postmaster Connie Hatton said she's not sure how that happened, but it took effect May 1. That was three months before Hatton even came here as postmaster from Johnstown, Colo.
She said the new rates are the result of a "transformation" in which Congress allowed the Postal Rate Commission to make more frequent and easier changes.
"This is what the commission came up with," she said.
Hatton said although the post office box rates are now tied to local property values, the local post office has no say in what those rates are.
"Headquarters (U.S. Postal Service) decides that," she said.
Although Hatton confessed she didn't understand how property values came into play, she did say the postal service's rate structure was outdated and needed change of some kind.
"It would take a year, a year and a half to get a rate change through," she said. "Then, just as the change went into effect, there would be another hike in the cost of living. We were constantly in a hole."
She said whether postal patrons understand it or not, the post office box fee structure is an attempt to modernize the rates.
"The whole way we do rates is antiquated," she said.