The Postal Service is extending collection hours at many post offices on April 15th for Tax Day, but there’s at least one post office in California that’s getting a lot less than extended hours. Customers of the Marcus Foster post office, located on International Boulevard in the heart of Deep East Oakland, have been experiencing a range of cutbacks, and one local writer says the cuts amount to a kind of Hood Tax…
Allen-Taylor describes the cuts in service at the Marcus Foster post office as a type of “Hood tax.” That’s a reference to the way prices are often inflated in small stores in low-income neighborhoods populated by minority groups. Or, as he puts more eloquently, an “inconvenience applied to folks enacted for the privilege of living within the confines of areas we once called ‘the ghetto.’”
The Marcus Foster station is not a big office, just over 2,000 square feet, but it can be a very busy place, with a line of ten or more customers waiting at the counter.
Some time ago, Allen-Taylor noted that the Postal Service had reduced the staff from three clerks to one. There may be plans to bring back a second clerk, he says, but in the meantime, lately there’s been only one clerk at the post office.
That means longer lines, of course, and it may also be the reason that the post office has been closing for over an hour for lunch everyday. The sign on the door doesn’t provide any explanation, just “closed for lunch.”