Volume 3 Chapter 33 The impact of free trading rights
The City Lord’s Manor was brightly lit even at night.
Although the busiest fall harvest was over, as the Banta City City Lord, Count Stagg’s work didn’t decrease at all.
Compared to the previous Count Sean who liked leaving work to his subordinates, Count Stagg liked taking care of everything himself, doing all the big and small things.
He liked this feeling of being in control.
However the price for this was that he was much busier than Count Stagg.
Right after he finished a small conference, he returned to the City Lord Manor office and before even resting, he began looking over documents.
Because there was such a splendid result for this year’s fall harvest, Banta City received the praise of both the king and the agricultural department. Count Stagg was even specially commended by the Royal Parliament, which increased his reputation in both the kingdom and his family, creating another political star from the Stagg Family.
But Count Stagg was very clear that just how much of his performance was real and how fake it was.
So in order to not let things funnel out, he had to spend large amounts of time and energy on the aftermath.
Because he was also clear that although the family and their allies had pushed him to this position, replacing Count Sean as the City Lord, the burden he bore was quite important. There were many families who opposed his family and there were countless eyes fixed on him, so as long as he made a single mistake, there would be a violent storm that greeted him.
Before embarking, the family head who was his biological big brother Duke Stagg had told him that if he couldn’t handle things well here, if there were any problems that occurred, if there was a need, he would be treated as a sacrifice by the family.
So after Count Stagg arrived in Banta City, he put a strong display to ensure that he would create a result that his family and their allies would be satisfied with. At the same time, he shut the mouths of people who doubted him.
Of course, that was on the premise he wouldn’t make any mistakes.
There were certain parts that other people couldn’t do, so Count Stagg had to do them himself.
It was a good thing that his family also gave him great support in this matter.
For example, there were clearly problems with the data from Banta City, but with his family’s control of the agricultural department, the agricultural department didn’t conduct an exhaustive investigation on this matter. They just went around and approved of the data, allowing this data to light up the eyes of all the cities in the Lampuri Kingdom.
With this data, not only had Count Stagg’s reputation increased, the faction led by the Stagg Family that insisted on agriculture in the Royal Parliament was at an advantage.
During arguments, this faction took out the harvest yield from Banta City.
Because according to the calculations of the agricultural department, if all the cities in the Lampuri Kingdom followed the same policies as Banta City, the grain yield would greatly increase in the entire kingdom.
If they could reach the same level as Banta City, the entire Lampuri Kingdom could cast off their famine problems in just three to five years, even creating a grain surplus each year.
Everyone had to admit that maintaining the nation was the most important factor, letting all the citizens eat to their fill.
As long as the citizens can survive, the Lampuri Kingdom wouldn’t be in the same turmoil several years ago.
As long as the Lampuri Kingdom wasn’t in turmoil, they could rest and gather their strength, naturally becoming stronger over time.
This was the truth of the Sines Continent, so the faction that refuted the Stagg Family couldn’t say anything.
Even the king had to recognize the Stagg Family’s point, but he still had some reservations and didn’t truly believe that agricultural development was the most important factor.
Unexpected to everyone, a few days ago, the Lampuri Kingdom’s business department suddenly announced a new decision. In order to promote business development in the Lampuri Kingdom, they decided to give approved companies free trading rights.
This free trading right was to allow companies to easily trade with other countries, without the need to report to the business department or the Royal Parliament. It allowed the companies to be more flexible when dealing with other countries, saving large amounts of time.
Of course, the commodities had to not be on the banned list of the kingdom and of course there was still tax that needed to be paid to the kingdom on trade.
Because there were different tax rates in different cities, in order to make things more convenient, the companies that received free trade rights would be paying taxes directly to the kingdom, they wouldn’t be paying to any of the cities in the kingdom.
Once this policy came out, everyone understood that the king was finding a means to solve the kingdom’s finances, trying to take part of the cities’ taxes for the kingdom finances.
But business in the Lampuri Kingdom wasn’t developed, so there were few companies that could trade with other countries, so this policy didn’t apply to most cities and companies in the kingdom. Naturally, it didn’t draw much sound or argument.
On the list of companies that received free trading rights, the Frestech Chamber of Commerce was on there.
At first Count Stagg as the Banta City’s City Lord didn’t care because he knew that Xu YI was close to her highness Seveni, as well as the Frestech Chamber of Commerce being heavily favoured by her highness and even the king. The Frestech Chamber of Commerce being able to receive the free trading rights through their relationships was natural.
But when Count Stagg was reminded by the Banta City financial staff, he was shocked to find that once the Frestech Chamber of Commerce received free trading rights, it would greatly affect Banta City.
According to the tax statistics from the City Lord Manor, in the past two years, starting from just being able to pay several hundred gold coins a month, the Frestech Chamber of Commerce’s tax revenue kept increasing.
In this year, the Frestech Chamber of Commerce paid more than two hundred thousand gold coins a month. In June, they even paid an astonishing four hundred and thirty thousand gold coins, even surpassing the old companies in Banta City. They made up for a large portion of Banta City’s total tax revenue.
Starting from July, the Frestech Chamber of Commerce’s tax revenue kept dropping. They fell to two hundred and sixty thousand in July, to one hundred and ninety thousand in August, and just barely over a hundred thousand in September.
Was the Frestech Chamber of Commerce evading taxes? Of course that was impossible.
The reason for this was because the Frestech Chamber of Commerce was forced to move their business to the Falling Rain Valley by Count Stagg.
Because the king had given Falling Rain Valley and the surrounding area to Xu Yi as his territory as a viscount, according to the laws of the Royal Parliament, the income in the territory of a noble belonged to them. They only needed to pay a portion of it as tax to the kingdom and didn’t need to answer to anyone else in the kingdom.
So after the Frestech Chamber of Commerce moved to the Falling Rain Valley, other than some businesses that stayed in Banta City, they didn’t need to pay taxes to Banta City on most of their other income.
Now that the Frestech Chamber of Commerce received free trade rights, according to the explanation given by the business department, the Frestech Chamber of Commerce could directly pay the tax on their business with other companies to the kingdom finances, Banta City couldn’t do a thing.
So in short, although the Frestech Chamber of Commerce was a Banta City company in name, only the product service center and the new concept modern living magic room needed to pay taxes to Banta City. The other businesses didn’t need to care about Banta City’s City Lord Manor at all.
The Frestech Chamber of Commerce’s development speed was known to all. They were currently cooperating with the Rudson Kingdom and the Stantine Duchy, while also cooperating with the beastmen on the Black Rice Wasteland.
If nothing unexpected happened, the Frestech Chamber of Commerce would be developing faster and faster, generating more and more profit.
Accordingly, would be missing out on the tax revenue that would become more and more important.
Count Stagg conducted his agricultural promotion policies, but he was clear that for Banta City, most of the taxes came from the large companies. If it wasn’t a problem with his stance, he would have become like Count Sean, developing both business and agricultural.
But now because he was forced to take the stance of the Stagg Family and their allies to force the Frestech Chamber of Commerce out of Banta City, he could only take responsibility for this bitter fruit that he had planted.
Other than the Frestech Chamber of Commerce, there were many other companies who had lost faith in Banta City because of the agricultural promotion policies, leaving Banta City to head to other cities. There were even companies like the Amrith Chamber of Commerce that invested in the Black Rice Wasteland, the Rudson Kingdom, and the Stantine Duchy like the Frestech Chamber of Commerce.
Among the first batch of companies that received free trade rights, other than the Frestech Chamber of Commerce, the Amrit Chamber of Commerce, the Armani Chamber of Commerce, and the Sarank Chamber of Commerce from Banta City were all included.
The staff under Count Stagg’s control made some rough estimates and came to a conclusion.
With the Frestech Chamber of Commerce leaving Banta City, Banta City’s tax revenue had decreased by three hundred thousand. Now that those four companies had received free trade rights, the Banta City tax revenue would decrease by at least two hundred thousand.
Last month Banta City’s tax revenue was just over five hundred thousand, which meant that they had lost half their tax revenue, which was without a doubt a serious blow.
The present Banta City went back to the same state as several years ago, it could no longer be considered the quickest developing city in the Lampuri Kingdom.
The more important thing was that with the decrease in tax revenue, it proved that Banta City was falling backwards under Count Stagg’s rule, which was a serious blow to the conservative faction led by the Stagg Family.
So while Count Stagg was taking care of the aftermath of the fall harvest, he was also racking his brain to improve Banta City’s tax revenue to avoid this situation.
While he was busy with his work, at this time, Count Stagg saw the next document and his eyes suddenly shrank.