Kirinor, 16th day of Gildember, 432 AC
Evening Watch rising 20
Gate Tax Protests Increase
by Gerrin, Staff Writer
Palanthas - A month after the creation of the new gate tax has brought about some of the strongest criticism and protesting over the tax. The tax was designed to help pay for extra troops in the wake of the recent attacks on Solanthus. Many non-Palanthian merchants feel that this tax is too steep.
"It isn't enough that we have to pay a market tax and a stall tax," said Garnet Trading Co. spokesperson Reghar Firehammer. "But now we are forced to pay a tax not only on goods or raw materials we bring into the city but also an operating tax if we wish to sell those items."
The Gate Tax has been an area of concerned not only for the Garnet Trading Co. as several other groups have protested it as well. The tax specifically targets shipments that come from outside areas of Palanthas. For every wagonload of goods a merchant brings in the merchant will be charged one steel. Also if the merchant wishes to sell those goods inside of the city must pay another tax of three steel per day.
"This tax has severely hurt all business that comes from outside of the city," declared Valon Eaglestrike from Portsmith. "We came here hoping to expand the markets for our fletchers and bowyers but have found that we can not make a profit here."
This is not the case for all merchants since many merchants have reported increase profits to the Palanthas Merchant's Guild. Many merchants have seen profits go up by 200% since the tax went into effect.
"We have seen a tremendous response from our own merchants," stated Palanthas Merchant Guild's representative Thomas Swordsbright. "Merchants from all over Palanthas haven't seen business this good since the summer before the Chaos War."
It seems that this tax is only one of several issues facing the local merchant's guild. With the looming Draconian vote and the exclusive trading contract for weapons and armor from Daerion Ei Klioro the non-Palanthian merchants feel they are under attack.
"What's next," declared Firehammer. "Are they going to tax us for using the city privies, or breathing the air here. It seems that all Palanthas cares about is there own business. Mark my words if this tax isn't taken off the books there is going to be bad things happening. The Garnet Trading Co. will not be held responsible for the actions of others taking this matter into their own hands."
Other major trading groups in the city attended the Garnet Trading Co. conference over the matter. One of the major things coming out of the talks was a petition in which all major non-Palathanian merchants signed. The petition voiced the complaints of the Gate Tax and the weapons monopoly of Klioro. Many groups attending the conference were visibly upset and angered. No response so far from the Palanthas Merchant's Guild on the petition.