Great, now I have to figure out what the tax is for entry into the city, lol. There was a gate tax in Amsterdam, like a toll, but I'm not sure of an appropriate conversion. Anybody have a good source for an appropriate gate tax?
Originally Posted by Wonder Woman
In medieval times, my understanding is there were typically a few different kinds of taxes. Passage and pontage taxes were levied at gates and bridges for any travelers, and these were usually nominal.
For farmers and merchants bringing in wares, the wares were often taxed based on either value or weight, and this was a more significant tax.
There was also a stallage tax for merchants who rent stalls. That was often a daily, flat fee, but one of significance. There was less (or even no) tax on hawkers and traveling merchants, or on common areas without stalls such as farmers' markets.
Property taxes were typically levied quarterly, on people who owned or rented property within a city. And pasturage taxes were paid by farmers on a quarterly or annual basis.
There were also other taxes, such as poll taxes people paid simply for existing, and specific goods taxes such as the unpopular Gabelle tax on salt in France, but these were less common, IIRC. Typically, the taxes described in earlier paragraphs were among the medieval staples. You could also farm out tax duties to tax collectors, who were often hated due to their corruption. But again, that depended based upon the era. For a city like Fairhaven, which appears to be a relatively smooth bureaucracy, and is set up well for gate taxes, I think the traditional models should work reasonably well.
EDIT: Regarding amounts of the taxes, levies on goods should probably be anywhere from 10-20% (I think by value is more appropriate, generally, than by weight, you could even have bonded "appraisers" that work for the government trying to value the goods, and if people disagree with the assessment, no one's forcing them to enter the city). The gate tax should definitely be less (perhaps significantly less) than what you set for a day's wage for an unskilled or semi-skilled laborer, and the benchmark for thirty days worth of gate tax should probably be somewhere close to the monthly cost of a poor room within the town (moving higher or lower based on whether or not there is a labor shortage within town). Stallage can be a more significant flat fee, representing perhaps as much as 10-20% of what an average merchant might stand to make during a day's work. Property tax, I think you've addressed in an earlier post.