A Berkeley councilman came up with a new way the United States Postal Service could make money after it scaled back its Saturday service, among other cuts, and it involved a different kind of mail.
Berkeley councilman Gordon Wozniak thought, why not tax email.
Wozniak spoke to KTVU by phone Saturday and suggested looking at revenue ideas on a federal level, a one-hundredth of a cent tax on sent emails -- a bit tax.
His city, like many others, face no Saturday mail delivery and the U.S. Postal Service has been considering selling the downtown post office building located at Allston Way and Milvia Street.
"One of the reasons the Internet is taking business away from the post office is because it's also being subsidized," Wozniak said. "It essentially provides services for free. It's like Amazon versus local small businesses."
Wozniak's plan is not endorsed by the U.S. Post Office.
USPS Spokesman Augustine Ruiz emailed KTVU a statement.
"It's important to note that people care enough to even consider ideas and options to help the Post Office," Ruiz said. "Our plan, which is currently being updated, includes legislative reform proposals and actions to reduce costs and grow revenue."
For now, taxing email is also not even federally legal.
Residents told KTVU they have mixed feelings about the tax.
"I don't like the idea of being nickeled and dimed," said Jeff Hirsh of Berkeley.
Nia Kelley, another Berkeley resident said she doesn't have a yes or no answer to the proposal.
"The post office is such a valuable service there has to be some way that we can figure out to be sustainable and I understand that's so hard because everyone is using email," Kelley added.
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