Accession Number : ADA462043
Title : Changing Postal ZIP Code Boundaries
Descriptive Note : Congressional rept.
Corporate Author : LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
Personal Author(s) : Stevens, Nye
Report Date : 23 Jun 2006
Pagination or Media Count : 12
Abstract : Ever since the ZIP Code system for identifying address locations was devised in the 1960s, some citizens have wanted to change the ZIP Code to which their addresses are assigned. Because ZIP Codes are often not aligned with municipal boundaries, millions of Americans have mailing addresses in neighboring jurisdictions. This can cause higher insurance rates, confusion in voter registration, misdirected property and sales tax revenues for municipalities, and property value effects. Some communities that lack a delivery post office complain that the need to use mailing addresses of adjacent areas robs them of a community identity. Because the ZIP Code is the cornerstone for the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS's) mail distribution system, USPS long resisted changing ZIP Codes for any reason other than to improve the efficiency of delivery. Frustrated citizens frequently have turned to Members of Congress for assistance in altering ZIP Code boundaries. In the 101st Congress, a House subcommittee heard testimony from Members, city officials, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that USPS routinely denied local requests for adjusting ZIP Code boundaries in a peremptory manner. It considered three bills that would allow local governments to determine mailing addresses for their jurisdictions. Since then, USPS has developed a ZIP Code Boundary Review Process that promises every reasonable effort to consider and if possible accommodate municipal requests to modify the last lines of an acceptable address and/or ZIP Code boundaries. The process places responsibility on district managers, rather than local postmasters, to review requests for boundary adjustment, to evaluate costs and benefits of alternative solutions to identified problems, and to provide a decision within 60 days.
Descriptors : *UNITED STATES , *ALIGNMENT , *POSTAL SERVICE , *BOUNDARIES , CONGRESS , EFFICIENCY , LOCAL GOVERNMENT , DELIVERY
Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE