Taxation is a compulsory levy upon the residents of a province or realm, imposed by the monarchy of that realm, in order to ensure the availability of workers and soldiers, food, materials, other services and coinage for use by the realm. A large bureaucracy usually exists in the state to ensure tax compliance, the process by which taxpayers are required to pay the right amount of tax at the right time, in the form required.
Taxation exists in many forms, each dealt with in the links below. Failure to make good on taxes is a serious crime, enabling the state to seize property, reduce an individual to debt bondage, place him or her in prison or invoke capital punishment.
Naturally, players don't like to pay taxes, and given that most adventurers hardly remain in one place for long, this list of taxes should have limited impact on play. Occasionally, they may have to cough up tolls to cross a bridge or a fee to enter a town, but for the most part they'll skirt the costs that ordinary residents have to pay.
Most of the taxes described here are useful to the players as ways they'll use someday to gouge the peasants that work the players' fields, or serve in the players' army or otherwise suffer under the players' authority. Players will want to know what levies they can impose, what special kinds of taxes they can demand, in order to service their peculiar adventuring needs as landlords and perhaps monarchs. It's for that reason that this page exists, much more than as a way to gouge the players out of their hard earned, fought-for money.
Forms of Taxation
- Burgage, rent paid to a town or city borough
- Carucage, a tax raised to pay for war or infrastructure projects
- Corvée, unpaid forced labour performed by serfs
- Excise, an indirect tax upon goods and their manufacture
- Geld, tax raised to pay tributes to foreigners
- License Fee, a tax imposed on would-be businesses
- Poll Tax, levied per individual resident
- Property Tax, a level on the value of a property
- Scutage, a fee paid in lieu of military service
- Socage, a portion of crops paid as a fuedal levy
- Tallage, a land tax imposed on feudal residents
- Tax Farming, random pressed taxes imposed on residents
- Tariff, an import or export charge on the movement of goods
- Tithe, payments given to religious authorities
- Toll, a fee charged to travel over a road, bridge, tunnel or waterway