Think really big!
Good call though. There are a multitude of taxes waiting to be exercised by an ambitious tax collector.
In the ancient world, particularly Imperial Rome, the position of tax collector for a region (or city if large enough) was appointed by the regent (rarely) or purchased (either flat rate or a percentage of the ‘take’). The differences are slight. Appointments go to cronies, henchmen, or relatives; often there was a kickback involved. The purchase gives cash to the regent ‘up front’ and the cost if the purchase is ‘recovered’ over the year. In both cases, anything in excess of the amount expected at the capitol went into the packet of the office holder.
This means that the more aggressive the tax collection- the more money comes TO THE COLLECTOR, not the government. Remember that in the Robin Hood folklore it wasn’t King John who laid the heaviest fines. That was for the Sheriff of Nottingham to levy the highest taxes (and fines) to curry (buy) the favor of the king. John was weak; the Sheriff was allowed to run rampant with taxation.
Now, how to use this power? A new tax to pay for the replacement of the ‘old bridge’. A new tax for the upgrade of arms and livery for the city guard. How about a tax to help pay for that foreign war? Another to ‘show an appreciation for the king’ and “donate’ an expensive gift to the king on his birthday. Yet more to buy arms for the Prince, who has just come of age. A Tea Tax, a Stamp Act, inheritance, and a pun tax. A fee for wearing a weapon. A fee for the right to wear a weapon. A fee for attending court. A fine for NOT attending court. If it moves, fine or fee it. If it doesn’t move, tax it. If it objects, fine it. If it threatens you, apologize profusely to his lordship and look for easier prey.
In short, ANYTHING can be a source for enriching the government and separating the wealth from those hard working adventurers!
Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.
- Edward Everett