Chapter 284- Currency and Taxation
After he gained Ouyang Shuo's approval, Meng Zhida started to describe his plan.
What was most important was to set up a banknote printing bureau in the main branch of Four Seas bank to be in charge of the printing of banknotes.
The planned banknotes included 10 gold, 20 gold, 50 gold and 100 gold. There would be no copper or silver banknotes, and no numbers less than 10 gold.
Based on Meng Zhida's thoughts, the banknotes would be a higher class currency and be mainly used for the buying and selling of goods. As for the daily expenses, they would still be done with copper, silver, and gold coins.
What Ouyang Shuo needed to do was to purchase the <Paper Making Technical Manual> and the <Printing Technique Technical Manual>, paper workshop and printing workshop blueprints.
Luckily, Yingyu had to discuss with the Cui Chamber of Commerce about setting up a branch in Shanhai City, so Ouyang Shuo just passed her the responsibility of acquisition all to her. He also asked her to recruit some experienced artisans through the Cui Chamber of Commerce.
Making use of this opportunity, Yingyu raised the topic about changing the finances and taxes. "As the economy grows past its infancy and starts to prosper, the tax rate set up during the start of privatisation isn't suitable. The Financial Department feels that the time has come for us to raise taxes."
Ouyang Shuo remained silent. When he had set the tax rate to be 1/30, his goal was to motivate craftsmen and commerce to nurture the economy.
This proved that his original idea was right. Under the low tax and low interest rate loans from the Four Seas bank, privatisation had been blooming, and the territory tax returns had been increasing by the day.
However as Yingyu had mentioned, since their goal had already been reached, to adjust the tax rate to a normal level was needed. If not, as the territory's economy bloomed, the finances of the territory wouldn't benefit. Increasing the tax rates and financial profits wasn't to earn more gold, but to give them the funds to do better projects and for the public benefit.
"What level does the Financial Department feel that the tax rates should be adjusted to?" Ouyang Shuo asked.
"5%? This is the final answer of the Financial Department?"
"No, the most suitable rate would be 1/15, only..." Yingyu was a bit hesitant.
"Just that what?"
"The Financial Department is afraid that if we raise it so quickly, the people will be unhappy."
Ouyang Shuo shook his head. "The tax rate is an important part of the administration. We can't keep changing it and have to maintain it at a stable level. Since we need to change it, we must do it once and for all. There will probably be a little pressure, but we still have to get over it."
"Understood." With Ouyang Shuo's support, Yingyu would have more backing to push for this. "Apart from taxes, there's also the income of the affiliate territories. The Financial Department feels that the affiliate territories should give us 70% of their tax, and then the lord's manor will assign and deal with it."
Ouyang Shuo frowned. Financial matters wasn't an independent body, and must be done together with administrative matters.
"Let the Financial Department consider the economy advisor's views, and give me a full tax change report. After the territory upgrades, then we will discuss the exact measures." Ouyang Shuo postponed the suggestion from the Financial Department.
"Ok!" Cui Yingyu was a little demoralized.
Over the next few days, Shanhai City started to get busy for their upgrade quests.
The first one to have progress was the 2nd quest. After Shanhai City and the Cui Chamber of Commerce discussed, they agreed to set up a branch and buy up Shanhai City products: seafood and salt from Beihai City, tea and herbs from Qiushui City, fur and skin from Friendship City, wood from Gushan City, etc.
At the same time, the Cui Chamber of Commerce also set up a shop in Shanhai City selling rare items like chinaware, spices, jade decorations, etc.
The setting up of the Chamber of Commerce would be able to stimulate exports and also increase the sources of imports, improving the sales structure and improving the economy.
Apart from that, the Cui Family bank was also attracted to Shanhai City to compete with the Four Seas Bank. If the loans from the Four Seas Bank were for daily life, then the Cui Family bank were purely for investment.
Be it the pottery factory or the Xila Lake pearl culturing base, they all became the investment targets of the Cui Family bank.
All these workshops that were invested in all welcomed a huge change.
Toward these outside investments, Ouyang Shuo accepted all of them. Of course, the industries and businesses controlled by the Financial Department were not included.
For the next step, Ouyang Shuo planned to put down the minefields and the logging camps and list them as investable items, leaving the Material Reserves Department with strategic resources like copper, iron and gold mines.
All this was done to shape the economy of the territory.
What the Cui Chamber of Commerce brought over wasn't only products and funds, but also large amounts of artisans and craftsmen. In the business street, they built up a grand restaurant- Shanhai Garden.
The Shanhai Garden combined food, lodging, and entertainment all into one. The tens of chefs brought various delicacies from around the land; the hired actors to perform every day.
No wonder one of the shareholders of the Sangu Restaurant, Qing'er kept shouting, “The Wolves are here!”
To this kind of competition, naturally Ouyang Shuo wouldn't interfere; whether or not the restaurant could survive depended on the ability of Gu Sanniang.
With the help of the Chamber of Commerce, it was like an injection of freshwater into the Shanhai City’s economy, so naturally Ouyang Shuo was very optimistic.
On the third quest [Culture festival], the Administration Department also made some progress.
Fan Zhongyan and Xu Shuda's opinion was to hold a grand Mazu Temple Fair. During the lantern festival, Ouyang Shuo did have such a thought, but because of certain restrictions, he couldn't do so.
As times changed, the Shanhai City of today naturally wasn't what Shanhai Town from before could compare to. It already had the ability to hold a festival, and with the addition of the Cui Chamber of Commerce, it further strengthened the base of Shanhai City.
One of the requirements of the quest was that the festival had to have a certain level of influence.
Since it needed to have influence, those that attempted the Mazu Temple Fair couldn't be restricted to Shanhai City commoners, and must have some outside visitors.
Ouyang Shuo first thought about the allies in Shanhai Alliance. But thinking about it again, they were all players and were not high in numbers, so they wouldn't have influence.
In the end, Xu Shuda had an idea. He suggested to spread the news that Mazu Temple had appeared in Shanhai City to the whole of Quanzhou to attract the priests, merchants, and civilians to attend.
Ouyang Shuo smacked his own head and felt that he was stupid.
Wasn't it that in real life, Fujian was the place where Mazu Culture originated from? If the aboriginals from Quanzhou knew that the Mazu Statue appeared in Shanhai City, they would definitely visit.
Ouyang Shuo immediately informed the office in Quanzhou.
To achieve a greater effect, Xu Shuda even exaggerated the origins of the Mazu Temple and wrote a descriptive essay, pasting it at the door of the offices.
Mazu held an important position in the hearts of all Fujian people. The moment the news went out, it attracted a lot of attention. At first they didn't believe it, only after people teleported and see it did they accept it.
Hence, the news spread all over Quanzhou, and there were huge amounts of merchants, priests and commoners coming into Shanhai City.
Some staunch believers even immediately migrated over.
The development of the situation far exceeded Ouyang Shuo's expectations. Ouyang Shuo had no choice but to shift a portion of the population to Yongye City and Guangshui City.
Some rash people didn't wait for Shanhai City to make some space for them, directly moving to the affiliate territories.
A large portion of the believers were attracted to Beihai City. As amongst these believers, a large portion were fishermen, and when they learned of such a place, they were delighted.
Not talking about faith, in the Quanzhou region, as there were too many fishermen and the problem of overfishing, how could they compete with Beihai Bay, such an unopened location?
Every day after that, thousands of aboriginal people would choose to move to Shanhai City. The city was unable to pay for their teleportation costs, so they could only do so themselves. Even so, that couldn't stop their determination and faith.
Later on, there were even cases of an entire fishing village moving to Beihai City.
The City Magistrate of Beihai City, Gu Xiuwen was obviously elated. He activated all the departments and divisions to do a good job in arranging accommodation for the aboriginal people.
Based on the report, there were around 10 thousand people who shifted to Beihai City. These aboriginals weren't like the refugees and had assets and families with them.
Beihai City once again had obtained some good luck.
Apart from Beihai City, Friendship City and Qiushui City both had 5-6 thousand people migrate in. As for Shanhai City, the number of migrants broke 20 thousand and was increasing non stop.
This also meant that there were 20 thousand excess people who were shifted to Yongye, Guangshui City, which caused both of them to break the upper limit of 20 thousand and upgrade to grade 2 cities.
Forty thousand migrants to Shanhai City was considered large, but to Quanzhou, it meant nothing.
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