Thursday, May 23, 2019

Fear the Dragon, Hate the Tax Collector

Money is required to run a city-state and keep the populace in line. Armies require food and weapons, Templars have living expenses, and slaves need to be fed. Not to mention the cost of spell components and alchemy supplies. Citizens and non-citizens must pay taxes and fees to pay for these expenses, that's why they may fear the dragon, but they always hate the tax collector.
I wanted to help any DMs who don't know what kinds of taxes and fees a Templar might charge citizens, non-citizens, and especially player characters. Keep in mind that although taxes are listed in coinage, an equal value of goods is generally also acceptable in most instances. Taxes and fees can vary based upon the honesty of the Templar collecting them. These are guidelines only. DM's should decide what fees would be most appropriate for their games.
So, without further ado, I give you the taxes and fees of the city-states.

 Taxes
Consumption Tax
The consumption tax is a sales tax on all items sold in the city-state. This tax is collected by the Templars from the seller of the items at any time. If the Templar believes the seller is lying, the seller will not be able to sell their goods in market place and may be arrested.
The tax is a percentage on all items sold or bartered for. For example, if an iron dagger, two gold pieces, is sold in Tyr, the buyer will have to pay two gold and three silver pieces. The merchant would then pay three silver to the Templars.

Balic = 10%
Draj = 8%
Gulg = 12%, but only for non-citizens.
Nibenay = 10%
Raam = 10%, but this is rarely enforced.
Tyr = 15%
PostKalak Tyr = 10%
Urik = 12%
 
Gate Tax
All city-states charge a tax to non-citizens for entering their city. This is called a gate tax, as one must pass through the gates. Bypassing this tax by scaling the outside wall, or using magic or psionics, is generally punishable by enslavement or death in the arena. If an opponent is too powerful, or resourceful, to enslave, the Templars generally just kill the tax dodger.

Balic = Four bits per individual and medium to large livestock. One ceramic for larger livestock. Any sort of transportation vehicles are one ceramic each, except armored caravans, which are five ceramic.
Draj = Three bits per leg for livestock and sentient life. So, a human costs six bits, while a kank costs eighteen.
Gulg = Five bits per leg for livestock and sentient life. So, a human costs one ceramic piece, while a kank costs three.
Nibenay = Two bits per leg for livestock and sentient life. So, a human costs four bits, while a kank costs twelve.
Raam = Three bits for each individual or livestock. These taxes are rarely collected by actual Templars, however. Con men commonly dress up as Templars and rob travelers who don't know any better.
Tyr = Five bits per individual and for each erdlu or crodlu, one ceramic for each inix or kank, and five ceramics for each mekillot. Small wagons (1000- or 2500-pound capacity) or other transports are five ceramics, while the tax on larger wagons runs 1 silver piece.
PostKalak Tyr = None on individuals. Livestock and wagons are taxed as Tyr above.
Urik = Five bits per individual and livestock and small to large livestock. Twelve bits for larger livestock. All wagons are one ceramic piece.

High Sun Tax
The first of Hoard marks the beginning of High Sun and the day that all nobles dread. It marks the day that all land owners are taxed based upon how much useful land they own. Templars visit the nobles and generally delight in the authority they hang over the noble's heads.
The tax is generally per acre, so the wealthiest nobles with the most land must pay the most to keep it. If the tax is not paid, the land is taken away and reverts to the ownership of the Sorcerer Monarch.

Balic = One silver piece per acre.
Draj = Two silver pieces per acre.
Gulg = Only the Oba owns land in Gulg.
Nibenay = One silver piece per acre.
Raam = One silver piece per acre, but this is rarely enforced.
Tyr = Three silver pieces per acre.
PostKalak Tyr = Two silver pieces per acre.
Urik = Fifteen ceramic pieces per acre.

Income Tax
Each citizen in a city-state or client village is assessed by the Templars to determine how much they make, or how much the Templars believes they should make. This tax is generally due on the third day of Assalia every year, but may vary based upon the city-state. This tax is a percentage of the citizen's income.

Balic = 20%
Draj = 25%
Gulg = 30%. Dagadas are taxed, not individual citizens.
Nibenay = 20%
Raam = 15%, but this is rarely enforced.
Tyr = 35%
PostKalak Tyr = 10%
Urik = 25%

Inheritance Tax
All wealth that in inherited is subject to an inheritance tax. This tax is the combined wealth in coinage, goods, and all property. This is a one time tax only. However, if the wealth is further inherited, it is subject to the tax again.

Balic = 20%.
Draj = 15%
Gulg = 10%. However, all property belongs to the Oba.
Nibenay = 20%
Raam = 15%, although it is rarely accessed and enforced correctly.
Tyr = 25%
PostKalak Tyr = 20%
Urik = 20%

Luxury Tax
Certain items, like jewelry, or metal items are considered to be luxury items. These items enjoy an additional tax on top of the consumption tax. In reality, any item a Templar deems a luxury item can be taxed at a higher rate.

Balic = 5%Draj = 4%
Gulg = 6%, but only for non-citizens.
Nibenay = 5%
Raam = 5%, but this is rarely enforced.
Tyr = 10%
PostKalak Tyr = 5%
Urik = 8%

Sun Ascending Tax
Every building inside a city-state faces a tax on the first of Morrow. From the poorest man's hovel to the richest noble's mansion, a tax must be paid to the sorcerer monarch for the privilege of allowing it in their city. The amounts are divided into simple dwellings, large dwellings, businesses, mansions, warehouse.

Balic = One bit, Three bits, Three bits, One silver, One silver.
Draj = One bit, Two bits, Four bits, Eleven ceramic, Twelve ceramic.
Gulg = Individual dagadas are not taxed. Merchant buildings are taxed at Two silver.
Nibenay = One bit, Three bits, Four bits, One silver, One silver.
Raam = One bit, Two bits, Two bits, Five ceramic, One silver.
Tyr = One bit, Four bits, Four bits, Twelve ceramic, Fifteen ceramic.
PostKalak Tyr = Zero bits, Two bits, Two bits, Eight bits, One silver.
Urik = One bit, Four bits, Three bits, One silver, One silver.

Sun Descending Tax
The first of Fortuary marks the day that head taxes are due. Head taxes are charged for every slave a person owns. If the tax is not paid, the slave becomes the property of the city-state.

Balic = One bit per slave. Two bits per pleasure slave. Three bits per gladiator.
Draj = One bit per slave.
Gulg = All slaves are owned by the Oba, but slaves can be contracted for the season. Two bits per slave. Three bits for gladiators. Five bits for pleasure slaves.
Nibenay = One bit per slave. Two bits per gladiator and pleasure slave.
Raam = One bit per slave, but this is rarely enforced.
Tyr = One bit per slave. Two bits per domestic servant. Three bits per gladiator. Four bits per pleasure slave.
PostKalak Tyr = Slavery is outlawed.
Urik = One bit per slave. Two bits per gladiator. Three bits per pleasure slave.

Weapon Tax
Entering a city-state armed is not looked upon with suspicion, as the wastes can be dangerous. However, excessive armament may lead a Templar to the belief that the armed individual is planning on passing out weapons and possibly starting a revolt. So, to discourage the practice of bringing weapons into a city-state, a weapon tax is implemented.

Balic = One bit per weapon.
Draj = One bit per weapon beyond one.
Gulg = Two bits per weapon beyond one.
Nibenay = One bit per weapon.
Raam = There is no weapon tax in Raam.
Tyr = Two bits per weapon beyond one.
PostKalak Tyr = One bit per weapon beyond three.
Urik = Two bits per weapon beyond two.

Fees
Craftsman Fee
Citizens who manufacture goods are required to get a license from the city-state to practice their craft. Citizens who practice manufacturing without a license lose all rights to their products and must surrender them to the Templars. These licenses are renewed every year.

Balic = Two bits.
Draj = Two bits.
Gulg = Gulg does not have craftsman fees.
Nibenay = Three bits.
Raam = Two bits, but this is rarely enforced.
Tyr = Five bits.
PostKalak Tyr = PostKalak Tyr does not have craftsman fees.
Urik = Three bits.

Export Fee
Fees on exports are set on individual goods. Export fees are only applied to goods that are needed locally and are designed to keep them in the city-state. These fees are a percentage of the goods value. If the export fee is not paid, then the goods must stay inside the city-state.

Balic = 10%
Draj = 15%
Gulg = Gulg does not have export fees.
Nibenay = 15%
Raam = 10%, but this is rarely enforced.
Tyr = 25%
PostKalak Tyr = PostKalak Tyr does not have export fees.
Urik = 20%

Herder's Fee
Keeping animals around the verdant belts and scrub plains is at the pleasure of the sorcerer-monarch who controls the area. These fees are generally paid per year. If a herder is caught grazing their flocks on the sorcerer-monarch's land without having paid the fee, the herder is imprisoned and the flocks become the property of the city-state.

Balic = One ceramic piece.
Draj = One ceramic piece.
Gulg = Gulg does not have herder's fees.
Nibenay = One ceramic piece.
Raam = Raam does not have herder's fees.
Tyr = Two ceramic pieces.
PostKalak Tyr = Five bits.
Urik = Fifteen bits.

Import Fee
Fees for imports vary based upon the good in question. Import fees are generally only applied to goods that are produced locally and are designed to increase the price of foreign goods. These fees are are a percentage of the goods value. If the import fees are not paid, then the goods cannot be brought into the city-state.

Balic = 5%
Draj = 10%
Gulg = 25%
Nibenay = 10%
Raam = 5%, but this is rarely enforced.
Tyr = 10%
PostKalak Tyr = 2%
Urik = 10%

Trader's Fee 
These fees are charged per year for the merchant houses to do permanent business in or around the city-states in question. It is usually cut in half for merchant houses that make their headquarters in the city-state. Templars typically charge the elf tribes the same fees, if they wish to set up a permanent camp. Of course, the Elves simply lie and say they're all part of the same tribe, which saves them from paying multiple fees.

Balic = Eight silver pieces.
Draj = One gold piece.
Gulg = Six silver pieces for the permanent merchant camps outside of Gulg's gates.
Nibenay = One gold piece.
Raam = Five silver pieces, which is enforced, but at random times of the year.
Tyr = Two gold pieces.
PostKalak Tyr = Five silver pieces.
Urik = Six silver pieces.

Bribes
Generally bribes are how things get done in Athasian city-states. Bribes are how nobles and wealthy merchants always seem to be on the right side of the law. Although this system is abhorrent to good-aligned characters, they may use it in their favor from time to time. There are some things to take into account when planning how much to bribe a Templar.
Bribes vary according to the work required for the Templar. The more work that is required for the Templar, the higher the bribe must be. The higher the value of something the briber wishes to acquire, the higher the bribe for the Templar. The amount of danger, not necessarily physical, but politically as well, the Templar has to face, the higher the bribe must be. The higher the Templar's wealth and standing, the higher the bribe must be. All of these must be taken into account when a player character attempts to bribe a Templar.

1 comment:

  1. A lot of these taxes look pretty modern and are using modern names for them.

    Outside gate fees and water access fees I have not noticed any other fees that are Canon to Athas, though a Poll Tax (head tax) and food render or geld would certainly make sense

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