Each citizen that owns land or property will tithe annually wealth equal to a single crown(6) to be used in service of the Empire that protects them.The Imperial Constitution
The Empire receives taxation drawn from each of the territories under its control. To this are added donations by private citizens and the proceeds of any auctions carried out by the Imperial Bourse. This money forms the Imperial treasury and is under the control of the Imperial Senate. They must be careful however, for the treasury will be called on to pay for the upkeep of the Imperials armies, fortifications and other Senate motions.
Taxation is fixed according to the terms of the Imperial Constitution which mandates the tax that every citizen who owns property in the Empire must pay. Attempts to change the level of taxation - or introduce new taxes - have always been ruled unconstitutional. As a result it is not possible for the Senate to pass motions that change the level of taxation coming into the treasury from existing territories.
The amount of taxation raised varies by territory. Populous lands like the city of Sarvos and the surrounding regions are filled with many prosperous businesses - and as a result they provide a great deal of tax. In contrast territories with much smaller populations on the fringes of the Empire, like the icy regions of Sermersuaq, provide very little.
When a territory is conquered by the Empire then it will be subject to taxation by the civil service. It can take several seasons for Imperial control to be fully established in a territory so the taxation derived from a territory will usually rise in the first year of Imperial rule. In some cases, where a territory has suffered badly from war or other turmoil that has damaged the infrastructure in the area, it may be possible for the Senate to pass motions to rebuild what has been lost. This will help the territory recover more quickly which means the taxes flowing to the Senate reach their final level more quickly.
This exception to the normal rules on raising taxation, is an opportunity, it only arises as a result of plot. It only increases the speed with which the taxation reaches its final level, it does not increase the final amount raised by a territory.
The funds raised by the Bourse through distribution of its estates will remit what profit they can support to the Senate.The Imperial Constitution
The profits derived from auctioning off the rights to control the Bourse seats and related titles are incorporated into the Imperial treasury. Although the payments are added to the income of the treasury the season after the seat is auctioned, the full amount is not guaranteed. The auction represents a contract between the Empire and the citizen who wins the auction for the following year. If the Empire is not able to complete the agreement for any reason - for example if there are insufficient funds in the Imperial treasury to operate the Bourse resource - then the auction money must be repaid. The amount refunded to the citizen is in proportion to the number of seasons of lost production.
Individual citizens are entitled to make donations to the Imperial treasury. Significant donations are usually announced on the floor of the Senate - so that everyone is aware of the benevolence. Although sizeable donations are rare - they are not uncommon in times of crisis when the Empire lacks the funds to pay for its armies - or when individual citizens wish to advance their personal standing for whatever reason.
Although it is common for the Senate to choose to disburse funds to Imperial citizens in times of plenty - often of an amount equal to an earlier donation in times of crisis - such arrangements cannot be enforced with a legal contract because it has repeatedly been ruled unconstitutional for the Empire to borrow money and thus go into debt. A private arrangement between individuals is fine - but it cannot carry legal weight or standing using a Senate motion or similar device.
The Senate is able to pass a motion to disburse funds from the Imperial treasury. In this way funds can be given to a senator to spend on behalf of the Empire. They can also allocate a budget as part of another motion where appropriate If a senator requests. Once funds have been transferred from the treasury, then they become the legal property of the recipient.
The Senate cannot disburse funds it does not have. A running tally of the current level of the Imperial treasury is made available by the civil service during a Senate session.
Before any disbursements can be made, the treasury will allocate sufficient funds to pay for any regular expenditure that will occur in the coming season. These include the upkeep for every Imperial army as well as fortifications, spy networks, Bourse resources and the like, as well as stipends for Imperial titles and the costs associated with the upkeep of the Empire.
If there is insufficient funds to pay for the Empire's commitments then the Senate can use the summit to address the situation. They may either increase the Imperial treasury by procuring sufficient donations from private citizens - or they need to pass motions to abrogate one or more of the Empire's commitments.. For example, if the Empire choose to abrogate the motion to raise an army - then the army will be disbanded - and the Empire will no longer be obliged to meet the ongoing upkeep costs.
If the Senate are not able to pass enough motions of abrogation to balance the books, then at the end of the summit, the civil service will automatically abrogate sufficient motions to bring the Senate in line with its constitutional requirements not to go into debt. Which motions have been abrogated will be announced by the Auditor of the Imperial treasury at the conclusion of the final Senate session. The civil service have the power to choose - but by tradition they will abrogate the fewest number of motions of commission first, provided this will increase the size of the Imperial treasury. When armies or fortifications are abrogated, this is done starting with the one on the lowest fighting strength first.
The effects of abrogation very depending on the commission.
The upkeep of spy networks is small but essential to maintain the secrecy of the network. If the motion to abrogate a spy network is abrogated then the spy network will be revealed to the power that controls the territory it is in. Foreign nations have responded negatively on discovering an Imperial spy network in their lands in the past.
A fortification that is abrogated will not be staffed - so it cannot defend the territory and region it is in and cannot be maintained. An abrogated fortification does not disappear - but it will lose 10% of its existing strength each season that it is not maintained. More crucially the fortification can be easily captured by any enemy armies in the vicinity since it is not defended. The decay will continue each season until the fortification collapses, is captured or is re-commissioned.
If the motion to raise an army is abrogated, then the army is disbanded. It no longer exists, exactly as if it had been destroyed.
It is possible for the Senate to abrogate a Bourse resource. However a resource that has been auctioned through the Imperial Bourse will normally provide more money than it costs to upkeep. This income must be returned if the resource is abrogated, so doing so will usually worsen the Senate's debt - rather than improve it.
The Senate may abrogate an Imperial title that includes a stipend - or pass a motion to modify the title to strip the stipend from it. No disbursements or stipends will be issued by the civil service while the Senate remains in debt, no matter what motions are passed.
The budget of the Empire - the complete list of all incoming and outgoing expenses is compiled and maintained by the civil service. The final total - the size of the debt or the amount of credit in the treasury is available to any member of the Senate - but the breakdown is shared by the Auditor of the Imperial treasury with the Master of the Imperial Mint during a meeting that takes place each summit.