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Re: A hypothetical $3

Greetings from Tibor.

According to the instructions from the Board, there is no need to collect
the non-member surcharge of $3 if an event has no site fee: even if it has
other fees, such as a feast by reservation.  Even if donations are
requested.  This has been implemented in my local group in the East for some
time.  (We have run several donation events: the level of income has been
indistinguishable, as far as I know, from regular mandated fee events.)

Kingdoms have been receiving one dollar of each non-member surcharge, in an
obvious bribe to garner compliance.

  I have been told that "Those in power (I could name, but I shall decline)"
  insist that if there is money taken in at an event, then the non-member
  charge is due the kingdom.  Even in my most convoluted logic, I fail to 
  see how that applies here.

This would be a direct violation of Corpora.  VI.A.1.g.(4):
  "No law may require members or branches to make donations to the treasury
  of the realm.  Laws which discuss voluntary donations are acceptable,
  as are those which mandate reasonable fees for events and services or
  discuss financial arrangements for the realm's main events sponsored by
  local branches."

It is an open question whether such a fee, imposed without an explicit
kingdom law to the effect, could possibly be allowed.  Especially if this is
not a Kingdom event.  I would suggest that you begin the grievance procedure
against this officer, at once.

Further, since there is no directive from the Board on exactly how to
collect this surcharge, I have a suggestion.  I place a bowl near the gate
at my events, which is labelled "Non-Member Surcharge".  It is NOT on the
gate table itself, but is generally nearby, and between the gate and the
main hall.  I let people tax themselves, should they choose to.  This method
was approved by our Kingdom's seneschal some time ago, and has withstood
scrutiny from the Crown of the East, as well as a Director of the SCA.

Compliance with that fee, it seems, would imply that only about 3% of our
attendees here are non-members.

It might make a reasonable compromise.  Labelling the bucket "Stupid Tax",
as I would have liked to do, would prevent this from being reasonable. (:-)