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(RP) Trouble brewing in Vesper, Part 2

Discussion in 'UO Chesapeake' started by Riyana, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. Riyana

    Riyana Operations
    Administrator Moderator Professional Governor Stratics Veteran Wiki Moderator Campaign Patron Event Coordinator

    Sep 14, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Part 1 here.

    Today on a routine trip to the Vesper bank, I found that my arrival was preceded by a small gathering of citizens. One in particular, a fellow called James, had this to say upon seeing me:


    I readily agreed, and I offered him a copy of the Tax Relief Proposal that several other governors and I collaborated on, which Governor Angelica of Britain presented to King Blackthorn at the recent Council Meeting. (A copy of this proposal can be found on my desk in my office just over the western bridge from the Vesper bank, and the full text is included at the end of this post.)


    James refused to take the document though, seeming insulted by my efforts. Another citizen added her concerns.


    Though was only a small gathering, and although the angry citizens dispersed I don't think that they were satisfied...


    For those interested citizens, I include below the full text of the Tax Relief Proposal. This proposal was discussed in a meeting of most of the governors (and signed by all who attended the meeting), drafted by myself, and presented to King Blackthorn by Governor Angelica of Britain at the Council Meeting.


    Britannia Tax Relief Proposal

    It has come to the attention of the city governors that the citizens of our cities are at best ambivalent and at worst deeply angry regarding the issue of city taxation and trade agreement cost. Rumors of discontent are already beginning to spread, and several of us recently gathered to discuss possible solutions.

    As we ourselves have negotiated agreements with the major trade associations, we are finding that funds are running thin far too quickly for any but the richest of cities (which, in practice, is actually the richest governors and/or city benefactors) to maintain the agreements for very long. Governor Angelica of Britain observed over a week the alarming rate at which her city fund dwindled after she organized hunts that raised eight million gold for Britain. An amount that should have paid for four trade agreements in practice only paid for two after taxes.

    This brutal, compounding tax rate discourages citizens from contributing to the city stone. Instead, many are bringing donations directly to the governors, asking them to hold the funds individually and pay the trade associations only upon renewal time. Several of us are uncomfortable with this arrangement, as it opens the door for potential corruption, places an extra burden upon governors, and may even amount to tax evasion. While none of us wishes to deny the realm as a whole its due, we must each look after our own as well and we feel that the prohibitively high tax rate is hindering our ability to do so.

    Even disregarding the steep taxation rate of city funds, raising two million gold per week is no small task, especially for smaller cities or cities whose citizens primarily work in less traditionally lucrative (but still vital) trades. Also, the task of raising money paradoxically takes citizens out of the cities themselves as there is little money to be made for the average adventurer within the city limits.

    Furthermore, many citizens are selecting their home city--or worse, having to move from the home cities they have known and loved for years--to enjoy the trade agreement that best benefits them. This is not ideal; it is creating a transient population that is loyal to the trade associations rather than to the cities!

    For these reasons, we submit the following proposal.

    We, the undersigned elected governors of several cities of the realm, respectfully request the king's consideration of the following issues:

    Firstly, we recommend a public accounting of how the money taken out of the cities in taxes is being allocated. As governors, we know that we cannot even access the city treasury except to direct money into the trade associations. Thus, we are unable to independently direct city funds to local improvements and events. Citizens should know where their hard-earned gold is going to better inform their donation and voting decisions.

    Secondly, we recommend that the tax rate and the frequency with which it is collected be reduced. As Governor Angelica reported from Britain, after two weeks and two trade agreements, over six million gold had been taken from the city treasury. Although the daily tax rate is five percent, this effectively creates a weekly tax rate of approximately twenty-seven percent... and eventually a cumulative tax rate of nearly one hundred percent tax from the same gold being repeatedly taxed! This is unsustainable and discourages citizens from contributing to the city.

    Thirdly, we recommend that the crown urge the trade associations to either reduce the cost or lengthen the duration of their agreements. Although we, as governors, cannot negotiate the price of an agreement with the trade associations, they could not ignore the word of their king. As stated above, the high, frequent cost of the agreements actually takes citizens out of the cities rather than bringing them into them, giving no benefit or traffic to the cities themselves. The burden of the trade agreement cost cannot realistically be borne on the shoulders of the common citizens, who simply cannot afford it, and is falling disproportionally on the shoulders of the wealthier governors and independent city benefactors. However, even the wealthiest of Britannian citizens cannot sustain a city indefinitely, and the governorships should be open to all citizens regardless of their independent wealth. The trade associations should not be allowed such stranglehold power over cities and citizens of Britannia.

    Fourthly, we recommend that a city payment for a trade agreement by a city be divided among the trade associations rather than applied to only one, allowing each citizen to choose his or her own preferred agreement from which to benefit. Allowing citizens to choose any benefit from an active city would encourage citizens to maintain loyalty to the city itself rather than to a trade association.

    Fifthly, we recommend that citizens pay a small tax to use the trade agreements in order to keep money flowing into the city fund and to assure that the people actually using the agreements are putting back into the treasury. We have two potential thoughts on how best two implement this. One possibility is a flat fee of perhaps five to ten thousand gold per each day the agreement is used. The other possibility is for a small percentage of the money looted by a citizen enjoying the trade agreement buff to be automatically diverted to the treasury as an income tax. Furthermore, donations to the stone could be taxed at the time of donation so that the same gold is not being repeatedly taxed until it is gone completely.

    Sixthly, we recommend that governors be able to place city vendors whose sales will contribute directly to the city fund, much like the faction vendors in Felucca. This would attract commerce to the cities and keep gold flowing into the treasuries.

    Seventhly, we recommend that city stones record information about their respective cities (such as city populations and trade agreement use), accessible by the governors, so that we may better understand and serve our citizens.

    These recommendations have been discussed and agreed upon by the undersigned governors in the best interests of our cities, our citizens, and our kingdom. We urge the crown to give them careful consideration.

    -Governor Angelica of Britain
    -Governor Sherry Shar of Jhelom
    -Governor Victor II of Minoc
    -Governor Lauren of Moonglow
    -Governor CharGar of Skara Brae
    -Governor Phoenix of Trinsic
    -Governor Ivy of Vesper