On October 31, 2015, the Bnayland Legislature passed HB 666, which established a new 16.66% tax on all commercial enchantment sales. Known as the Bnayland Enchantment Tax and effective immediately, the tax applies to all enchantments sold at a “commercial enchantment facility”, as well as any fees, surcharges, and other taxes applied to the sale. The Bnayland Government will keep 15% of the revenue collected under the new tax, and the rest will be credited towards the income tax paid by the enchantment facility who collected it.
The tax was lobbied for by the Bnayland Enchantment Enterprises Federation (BEEF), who donated over $15 million to politicians who supported the bill. BEEF claims that the new tax “would provide much-needed relief to the server's struggling enchantment industry, which has taken a huge financial hit after some companies have had to pass on rising operating costs, resulting in decreased consumer demand throughout the entire industry.” They expect the tax to generate about $8 million per year in revenue for the enchantment industry.
However, opponents say that upon closer inspection, the tax is completely unnecessary as the “rising operating costs” appear to be entirely made up, and they may be right. It turns out that the only member company of BEEF is The Enchanted Cottage, which is infamous for charging ridiculously high fees such as an $800 per level “Jumping Frog” fee, a $100 per level fee to “help us with our bankruptcy court costs”, a fee to exit the building, a “$999 trillion per level per device per [millisecond] fee” for owners of Apple products, and, amazingly, a $250 “fee for complaining about excessive fees”. The company has been in bankruptcy proceedings since 2012 and seriously believes that charging bankruptcy court judges $250,000 per level will make the proceedings go away. (It does keep the judges' business away.) The company charges these fees despite a sign next to their front door loudly proclaming “$1 = 1 level!” Their only customers are Microsoft executives and board members, who receive a 95% discount after fees, but before the 11.66% in surcharges. Their most frequent customer is the software company's CEO, Satya Nadella, who has “ALL FEES WAIVED!!!” for no apparent reason. It is estimated that he pays, on average, only $5.23 per visit.
Predictably, other enchantment shops had been receiving the vast majority of consumers' business before the bill passed. Perhaps the most successful enchantment shop in Bnayland is the Bnay Research Nefeli Campus, which charges just $5 per level plus sales tax and no extra fees. The research institute is non-profit, which makes it puzzling that the new law only applies to “commercial” enchantment facilities. According to one analyst, “one would think that BEEF, as corrupt as they are, would want their most successful rival to hurt the most, given that the Cottage appears to be operating under the logic that if they can't succeed, then they should bring everyone else down with them.” And in fact, the law provides for a special exception allegedly for “small business owners” that allows companies with less than 3 employees and over $25 million in debt to charge only 5% as the enchantment tax. The Enchanted Cottage is, of course, the only enchantment company that qualifies for the exemption, and it is worth reiterating they stand to keep 85% of the revenue they collect from the tax.
Other enchantment facility owners lobbied against the bill, saying that it would “obliterate” sales and one business owner calling it “the legislative equivalent of a nuclear weapon”. Predictably, their sales have taken a sharp hit since the bill was signed into law. One shop owner has had to close his doors, and another reports only having “one very generous customer every two weeks”.
One would expect the Bnayland Legislature to be somewhat more corrupt after the Supreme Court's ruling in Crafters United v. BEC, but the fact that they would pass such a ridiculous tax that only benefits its failing supporter's competitor—sales at Bnay Research Nefeli have skyrocketed since its passing—simply blows the mind.
The president of BEEF, who also owns The Enchanted Cottage, did not respond to repeated requests for comment before this story's publication. One enraged business owner, who identified herself only as “Melanie”, called him a “horribly corrupt, evil scumbag who also happens to be a colossal idiot”. She appears to be right.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Early Wednesday morning, a mushroom biome was found in the almost completely undiscovered far eastern end of Nefeli. Called “sprawling” and thought to be the largest mushroom biome in the world, it covers possibly close to a thousand square chunks and is bordered by an ice plains biome, a taiga biome, and two rivers.