WASHINGTON (AP) _ The cost of mailing a letter will be going up a penny, probably in January.

The independent Postal Rate Commission acted Monday on a request by the Postal Service for a rate increase to offset rising costs.

Under the commission's action, the price of a first-class stamp will rise to 34 cents. But the 22-cent cost of a second ounce of first-class mail will stay the same, as will the 20-cent postcard. The Postal Service had asked that those rates be raised by one cent as well.

The post office Board of Governors will decide when the higher rates will go into effect. Jan. 7 is said to be the likely date.