Mailing a letter could cost you a little more when the new year begins.

Under a new proposal by the United States Postal Service, the cost of a first-class stamp will go up three cents, or 49 cents, beginning in January. The price of mailing those tropical postcards will also cost a little more to send from vacation - to 34 cents.

It's a move USPS hopes will raise $2 billion for the cash-strapped agency.

News of the possible price hike was made public Wednesday, and is contingent on approval from its regulatory panel.

In a letter to its customers, the Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Mickey Barnett said the proposal was a last resort.

"Of the options currently available to the Postal Service to align costs and revenues, increasing postage prices is a last resort that reflects extreme financial challenges," he said.

Clay Summers, with the Stephenville branch, said he has heard rumors about the potential increase and is not surprised.

Summers has worked for the post office for 31 years and said he has seen a steady decline in first-class mail. He attributes the loss to online bill pay and emails.

"But we have seen an increase in the volume of our package services, and that's what we are focused on," Summers said. "With the holidays coming up, we expect to be very steady from now until mid-January."

In 2012, the agency lost $16 billion, and has reported a 3.9 billion loss in the current fiscal year.