Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Commerce, Taxation, Trade

Commerce, Taxation, and Currency.
            Pecháno's main industries consist of mining and forestry. The two major clans of Pecháno, the Beneshchán in the west and the Rekhmél in the east have monopolies on both of these commodities. In addition to these two main industries there is also a relatively small, albeit well established, and high quality, arms and armour manufacturing trade. Located in Teshkóa some of the finest steel weapons and armour on Tékumel are produced in its narrow and winding streets.

Pecháni Merchant
            Pecháno, as with the other nations of the Five Empires, impose customs and tariffs on goods imported for sale. As soon as one crosses a border a horde of officious inspectors, guards, and scribes appears to demand their due. This procedure can be both costly and time consuming if the proper inducements are not tendered. Although the Pecháni are not as pedantic as the Tsolyáni nevertheless, duties must be paid unless one tries to enter Pecháno outside of the official border crossings. This is possible however, if caught one risks imprisonment, death, and losing all of one’s merchandise for trying to defraud the state. Officially, the Pecháni only collect tariffs (which consist of a percentage of the merchants purchase price for his cargo, as proved by his receipts and manifests) from Salarvyáni merchants, and charge an exorbitant 5-9%. Many revenue officers deliberately exaggerate the amount owed and pocket the difference. Other merchants are technically allowed to cross without restrictions, but reality is quite different, and bribes and unofficial tariffs are quite common.

Pecháni Tax Collector takes his due.
            Tax collectors are among the most venal people on the planet, and the officials of Pecháno are amongst the most oppressive; the naïve and illiterate are frequently hoodwinked into paying as much as five times the correct tax. All too many tax gatherers treat their assigned areas as fruitful farms, which can be joyously harvested over and over. It is hard to get one of these scoundrels removed; witnesses and evidence are needed, and a tax collector is invariably accompanied by an entourage of scribes, guards, assessors, etc., all of whom are in his pay. Occasionally a powerful clan or temple can have a particularly high-handed official transferred or arrested, but most average folk simply pay and remain silent. The government is satisfied as long as it receives its revenues and the economic base is not depressed to the point of ruination. The post of tax collector is therefore a much sought after, although it carries strongly negative social prestige. 
            Pecháno, like the other nations of the Five Empires, charges every resident, citizen and non-citizen alike, a percentage of his yearly gross income, and the temples, the clans, and private individuals commonly offer inducements for reduced assessments. The taxation rate in Pecháno is 1.5%, and 4% for any Salarvyáni. All income is susceptible to taxation, and includes: wages, business profits, interest, ‘inducements’, treasure finds, spoils of war, loans, gifts, and bequests –in short everything! Not surprisingly, much of the revenue of the state is derived from this simple form of income tax. Technically, non-monetary income –works of art, weapons, jewellery, magical devices, land etc., –is also liable to tax, no matter how acquired. The base used is the likely price were the item to be sold at once, and this amount is added to the individual’s gross income. This is usually imposed upon acquisitions worth over 1000 Nzúggesh, and most tax collectors accept a rough estimate rather go to the trouble of having things appraised. There is thus considerable room for bargaining.
            The Pecháni divide their currency like the Salarvyáni, in the following way: 1 Nzúggesh, which is the equivalent of 5 Tsolyáni Káitars as a comparison, is divided into 4 silver Nzái, and each Nzái contains 50 copper Vrél. Even though the Pecháni have and mint their own currency they will of course accept coins from other nations for a nominal fee or exchange rate, usually 3-4%. It should be noted that the Pecháni use the Salarvyáni names for their coins.

Pecháni Nzúggesh

Pecháni Nzái
Pecháni Vrél


  1. Gotta love those tax farmers. I can kind of imagine tax-farming being more easily institutionalized in Pechano and Salarvya than in, say Tsolyanu

  2. I agree. With the Tsolyani government being so centralised I think that it would be hard for these tax farmers to get as tight a grip as they would in Pechano And Salarvya.