Chapter 114 – Autumn…Tax Time
It’s the day after the forest hermit, Vallimie, returned home. I woke in the morning and as I left my house, I felt the cool air.
It was already autumn.
I had wanted cooler days when it was hot, but now I kind of felt sad that the air was cool.
I breathed in the cool air deeply, and saw the chief approaching me.
「Al, good morning! You’re up early.」
「Good morning, Chief…anything wrong?」
「Did you take care of that demon?」
「Yes, sorry about the trouble. I think it’s all fine now.」
Shiggy was happily crying out while clinging on to me.
Seeing that, the chief smiled. Shiggy was just too cute.
I had to explain what was going on periodically to the chief. He wasn’t coming this early to ask about what happened to the demon.
Maybe this was just in case. No, there must be something else he wanted to say.
I continued with small talk as I awaited the real topic at hand.
「Thanks to the village, Shiggy has grown!」
「Glad to hear that. Keep growing Shiggy.」
The chief then patted Shiggy on the head. Shiggy reacted happily.
After a bit, the chief’s face turned serious.
Here’s what he wants to say.
「Tax season is at hand.」
「Finally here, huh?」
The chief nodded seriously.
I really don’t know much about tax season. As an adventurer, it’s all deducted from my pay in advance.
There’s no way to take a yearly lump sum from an adventurer that could easily die.
Even more, since an adventurer’s life sometimes is short, he tends to blow all his cash. That’s why it’s just deduced from your payment.
「Since I’m an adventurer, I really don’t know how payment’s done.」
「Is that so?」
The chief explained it.
The basic tax is one-third of the harvest. That includes livestock and crops.
Also, there’s a citizen’s tax. Each citizen pays a set amount.
The payment’s made by each village. Each region designates the amount for each village.
Then one person is charged with paying the amount. That’s decided by the village.
「So how much did you pay last year?」
「Um, about this much.」
The chief took out his account book. It was a large amount.
Taxes were different by region. Seems like Mulg’s region set quite a high tax.
Even though this was a poor village, they were paying a lot.
「Isn’t this high?」
「Yes. The citizen’s tax is as high as the one in the capital.」
「Even more, we’ve got to pay one-third of our harvest.」
「Well, one-third is just one-third, right?」
「No…not at all.」
The chief looked sullen as he explained more.
You couldn’t just pay one-third in real good. You had to pay in cash.
Also, there was a problem in assessing that amount.
In accordance to the size of arable land, crop sizes were estimate on their own. And the crop amount was estimated as a full harvest.
As a result, regardless if you had a failing crop harvest, you would still have to pay the highest amount even if it was the food off your table.
The amount of meat for one cow was decided as well. Of course, that too was the amount of meat from a superior cow.
In addition, this was regardless of whether the cow was sold or put on the villager’s own plate.
Even the cows that wasted away or died were counted as sold.
「So you can’t explain to them which cows were sold and have them tax that?」
「No. They won’t accept it.」
The chief said, with an upset look.
You could probably hide some harvest. You could also probably lie and say a sold cow died.
That’s probably why the tax office accepted no excuses.
「So, the tax office basically takes about sixty percent of what the villagers produce.」
When I was an adventurer, they just 20 percent off my rewards.
Compared to that, the villagers were really getting shaken down.
「Al, you’re counted as one of the villagers, so you’ll be okay…」
「Vi-Vi, yes, and the other girls are treated as just visitors.」
Seem that Vi-Vi and the others aren’t on the taxation list.
The chief did say that some regions aren’t fond of devils.
It was a high risk if Vi-Vi was listed and shown to be a devil.
Also, Cruz and the other girls all had residences in the capital. They paid capital tax.
By kingdom law, there was no reason that they should pay double even if they stay in Mulg. Even so, it was hard to explain that fact away.
「That’s why we’d like you to hide Vi-Vi and the others when the region’s taxmen come by.」
They might suffer a tax increase since there’s more arable land now. I may have caused trouble there.
I asked the chief, as I was a bit worried.
He smiled and shook his head.
「No, it’s fine. There’s very low tax on potatoes. And a newly cultivated field taxes a tax the succeeding year.」
「Good. That puts me at ease.」
I looked at the storage shack and my house. Well, more of a mansion than a house.
「Are those buildings going to be okay?」
「It’s fine. Buildings don’t take a tax.」
「Good to hear.」
The chief explained again that a village only takes a harvest and citizen tax.
Towns and cities take a property and citizen tax. Since Mulg was a village, there was no tax on buildings.
「We don’t know when they’re coming either, so please remember this when they do.」
The chief said, and left.
Taxation really is theft.
For them to tax crop land, especially in a place like Mulg with sparse crops is a cruel system. In addition, they automatically set all crops to the best condition.
But there was a positive.
Crops could always be improved by magical circles. No matter how much we grew, or the quality, the tax wouldn’t change.
「Al, you’re up early!」
I jumped in surprise, and seeing this Vi-Vi jumped right back.
「A…AL! Don’t SCARE ME LIKE THAT!」
「Gotta make the cows and crops better! Let’s go!」
Vi-Vi nodded, looking a bit confused.