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Author Topic: The Fleecing Act  (Read 1638 times)

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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The Fleecing Act
« on: August 02, 2020, 02:30:56 AM »
WHEREAS Article III of the Organic Law as amended by 54RZ16 now states, in part:

Quote
The Secretary of State may request from all successful candidates in a Senäts election a registration fee, to be set by law, to cover the cost of the election. This fee shall be uniform for all successful candidates.

AND WHEREAS the noble Senator from Maricopa has characterised this as "fleecing":

BE IT ENACTED by the King, Cosă and Senäts in Ziu assembled that Section B.9 of El Lexhatx is replaced in its entirety as follows:

Quote
9. The Secretary of State, or his appointed agent, shall charge a registration fee of 6¤40 (six louise and forty bence, equivalent to $10 USD) to each political party, and a registration fee of 3¤20 (three louise and twenty bence, equivalent to $5 USD) to each successful candidate in a Senäts election. in forthcoming elections. Any Party or Parties which fail or refuse to pay the fee shall be deemed not registered, and no successful candidate in a Senäts election shall be declared elected until they pay the fee. (53RZ22) (48PD02) (42RZ14)

    9.1. The fee may only be paid by:

        9.1.1. Sending a Money Order, Cash or Cheque by snail mail to the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue: Only fees which have been received in full, by the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue will be deemed paid. Fees that are in transit, delayed, lost in the mail or not received by the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue for any reason, shall not count as paid fees, even if accompanied with proof of postage. Payments made by Money Order or Cheque shall not be deemed as paid until they have been cleared, the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue, will notify the nation when such fees have cleared or if said payments have bounced. If a party’s or successful candidate's cheque or money order bounces, they shall be liable to pay costs incurred by the Kingdom for their payment bouncing and shall not be registered until their fee plus these costs have been paid.

        9.1.2. PayPal: Fees may be paid by electronically transferring the appropriate funds into the Kingdom of Talossa’s PayPal account managed by the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue. The Burgermeister of Inland Revenue is to notify all Political Parties in advance of the Election of details regarding the PayPal account into which they may deposit their fee. Once a fee has been received by the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue from a party or successful candidate, he shall notify the Nation publicly that said fee has been received and arrange for said fee to be deposited in the Kingdom’s Account.

        9.1.3. Payment directly to the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue: Payment may be made directly in person to the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue, by cash, cheque or money order. The Burgermeister of Inland Revenue shall notify the nation which such payments have been received. The policy of Cheque and Money orders in 9.2.1. applies equally in this instance.

    9.2. Once a fee has been received by the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue and/or their appointed agents, it is not refundable for any reason. If, however, a party or successful candidate overpays or pays more than once for any given election period, excess fees may be credited to the party or successful candidate against their next payment of fees or refunded, at the discretion of the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue, minus any fees or costs incurred.

9.3. A Senator who was not elected, but appointed under the provisions of Organic Law III.7, will not be liable for any fee.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 04:17:32 PM by Miestră Schivă, UrN »

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Offline Açafat del Val

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2020, 10:49:43 AM »
If I were to stand for reelection, and if I were reelected as Senator, I would be happy to pay this fee.

I am evidently not so cheap and unpatriotic as my colleague from Maricopa; one would think that a Senator of Talossa should be honored and grateful to support his country financially.

Offline Ian Plätschisch

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2020, 08:55:04 PM »
Isn't the PayPal also administered by the BIR rather than the MinFin?

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2020, 08:56:39 PM »
I believe you're right, but this is the existing law with just Senäts candidates added in. I encourage amendments to better reflect reality.

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Offline Ian Plätschisch

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2020, 09:08:16 PM »
I believe you're right, but this is the existing law with just Senäts candidates added in. I encourage amendments to better reflect reality.
I propose an amendment to replace the references to MinFin with references to the BIR.

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2020, 11:54:29 PM »
I think that's done now?

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Offline C. M. Siervicül

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2020, 09:09:14 AM »
If I were to stand for reelection, and if I were reelected as Senator, I would be happy to pay this fee.

I am evidently not so cheap and unpatriotic as my colleague from Maricopa; one would think that a Senator of Talossa should be honored and grateful to support his country financially.
Lack of patriotism is not the only reason one might have a problem with paying a fee to serve in the Senäts. A candidate who is, say, 15 or 16 years old might not have a means of paying online. For a candidate in a developing country, coming up with US$5 in cash as well as postage to mail it internationally may be a challenge.

About the bill itself (not a reply to you), I think the jab at the Senator from Maricopa is a bit petty to include in a statute proposed for enactment by the Ziu.

Offline Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2020, 09:19:11 AM »
Lack of patriotism is not the only reason one might have a problem with paying a fee to serve in the Senäts. A candidate who is, say, 15 or 16 years old might not have a means of paying online. For a candidate in a developing country, coming up with US$5 in cash as well as postage to mail it internationally may be a challenge.

All of these caveats apply to the 6¤40 Cosă fee as well (if not doubly), don't they?
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Offline C. M. Siervicül

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2020, 10:01:15 AM »
All of these caveats apply to the 6¤40 Cosă fee as well (if not doubly), don't they?
Yes, except for the fact that parties are typically groups and therefore the burden of a registration fee is split across multiple people, whereas the burden of a Senate fee is more likely to fall on an individual. I’ve long been skeptical of the registration fee for parties, too (back when it was $20 I proposed a bill to reduce it to $5, which was followed by Sir Alexandreu’s successful proposal to cut it to $10). But the bigger point is that even if we think some kind of registration fee is unavoidable and that equity requires that senators or senate candidates share the burden somehow, let’s not unthinkingly impugn the patriotism of those who might be impacted by the fee.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 10:16:00 AM by C. M. Siervicül »

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2020, 04:25:35 PM »
Jab? What jab? I explicitly say in honour of BenArd.

Talossa needs to be funded somehow. At the moment, almost all our income comes out of Cosa election registration fees. This is the first step to a broader tax base (the Free Democrats intend to make others this term, if the Ziu will). The Senäts fee does not stop anyone running for election, the fee only becomes a problem if they win. I am heartily skeptical that Kids These Days don't have some kind of online payment mechanism. If, on the other hand, a Senator were to be elected from a country where $US5 is a day's wages, then I will happily pay that fee myself.

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Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2020, 05:20:25 PM »
The most recent budget shows that we paid for almost the whole of our annual mandatory expenses (ie webhosting) from one term's worth of stamp sales, coin sales, and interest.  It seems as though we could fairly easily eliminate all election fees, rather than boosting them -- especially if we actually work to promote our stocks ($2600 or so in value, sitting on shelves) and run a contribution program (such as a GoFundMe for the webhosting fees).  Ideally, it should be free to participate in every aspect of Talossa if we can manage it.
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Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2020, 05:24:39 PM »
Ian P ran that promotion to keep people editing the wiki, and that might be a great example of how to pay our modest fees without charging for political participation any more.  A ceremonial PD and silly stunts by the Seneschal could get a GoFundMe done in like two weeks.

For that matter, it would be good to bring that back, even if it is just for the wiki again.  Basic stuff is falling behind almost everywhere.
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Offline Eðo Grischun

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2020, 05:30:03 PM »
The most recent budget shows that we paid for almost the whole of our annual mandatory expenses (ie webhosting) from one term's worth of stamp sales, coin sales, and interest.  It seems as though we could fairly easily eliminate all election fees, rather than boosting them -- especially if we actually work to promote our stocks ($2600 or so in value, sitting on shelves) and run a contribution program (such as a GoFundMe for the webhosting fees).  Ideally, it should be free to participate in every aspect of Talossa if we can manage it.

If we get to the point where voluntary taxation starts to equal the webhost costs... but, that is not the case.

Anyway, this is an easy topic for the opposition to score some lazy political points with. There is nothing wrong with Talossa trying to increase its income so that we may look to increase what we regularly can afford to buy... say, Facebook Ad boosts or some targeted Google Ads to try and increase immigration and sort out that terrible growth problem that you harp on about.
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Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2020, 05:43:44 PM »
If the people of Talossa wanted silly stunts from their Seneschál, they would have voted LCC in greater numbers. Of course, Senator Plätschisch is free to do silly stunts as OppLeader. I'll happily chip in to see that happen.

Anyway, Senator Grischün makes a good point about paid advertising. Another thing we might want to consider is actual honoraria for people who do work for Talossa... maybe even outside experts. I am thinking, off the top of my head, of my non-Talossan friend who helped us fix the Wiki after Lüc disappeared.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 05:45:24 PM by Miestră Schivă, UrN »

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Offline Dr. Txec Róibeard dal Nordselvă, Esq., O.SPM, SMM

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2020, 06:13:55 PM »
Basic stuff is falling behind almost everywhere.

It is so easy to criticize and point things out when you don’t do anything or volunteer your efforts.
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