Bakukal, 14th day of Frostkolt, 432 AC
Eleventh Watch rising 21
City Senate Reviews Garnet Petition
by Gerrin, Staff Writer
Palanthas - This week the City Senate reviewed the petition submitted by the Garnet Mining Co. asking for the removal of the Gate Tax. The petition was presented to the guild by several merchants and merchant groups from outside of Palanthas.
"To say the least the petition shocked us," stated Palanthas Merchant Guild representative Thomas Swordsbirght. "To think that these people would be so unconcerned about the defense of this city, the city in which they receive their profits from. I am just shocked on how little they care for the safety of the people living here."
The Gate Tax which was proposed by Daltathon du Caerith, has been met by fierce criticism from many merchants. The tax which targets only those merchants who are not native Palanthian or have a permanent store in the city has generated an enormous amount of revenue. The tax has had a negative affect on trade as the number of non-Palanthian merchants has decreased steadily over the last month.
"It's hard to make a profit here," explained leather merchant Donet Et Solin. "I mean I usually do fairly well here and the profits I make here allow me to buy my supplies for the winter and create more items to sell in the spring. This year though after paying all the taxes I will barely make enough to pay for the trip back to Hargoth let alone for new supplies. I don't know how I'll make it."
The City Senate yesterday heard arguments from both sides concerning the tax. The Garnet Mining Company arguments centered around the simple fact that non-Palanthian merchants cannot make a profit here. The Palanthian merchants defended the Gate Tax by saying that "these merchants have often undercut their own profits."
"Why should we have to compete with these merchants who do nothing for our city," declared merchant Telric Farrell. "We are often forced to take losses on our goods during festivals because there are so many of these merchants. I mean what good have they done for our city. They pocket our coins and leave. This does nothing for the city and takes away money that could have been spent on our goods."
Early this morning the City Senate voted overwhelmingly to continue the Gate Tax. The petition motion was denied and all merchants must continue to follow the tax or they will be ushered from the city.
"This is an outrage," Garnet Mining Company spokesperson Reghar Firehammer told a crowd gathered outside. "How are we supposed to react to this? If we can't make a profit here we will take our business else where. Mark my words this isn't the end of this issue. Daltathon du Caerith you will pay for this."
Many in the crowd upon hearing the news and Firehammer's message began to protest the Gate Tax. The crowd was quickly dispersed by the City Watch but the council's recent decision to uphold the tax could cause more protests and possibly lead to violence.