I have a city hall with a Department of Finance letting me set the tax rates individually for Residential, Commercial, Industrial and for low, medium and high-wealth individuals.

I'm currently at 75% approval so happy and growing - my intuition is that I could tax the poor at a higher rate than the default 9% and get away with it, but seems a bit regressive.

What will make me the most money without killing growth?

  • This is really dependant on how happy your citizens already are, along with whether they're all employed and have jobs, whether shops are selling all of their goods, etc... Usually by year two I have increased all of my taxes to 12% (low/medium/high, residential/commercial/industrial) but I notice no real loss in happiness or population growth on account of having 80% approval. But just setting all of your taxes high at the start or with unhappy sims will probably land you in a bit of trouble
    – kalina
    Mar 17, 2013 at 22:28
  • This question is highly subjective and dependent on the conditions in your individual city.
    – Tater596
    Mar 18, 2013 at 12:30
  • What about setting the rate differently for R vs C vs I? Does it depend on the demand curve for each?
    – JonathanJ
    Mar 19, 2013 at 0:26

2 Answers 2


Along with what mizipzor said, I think you might find this useful:

SimCity Tax Rates

As requested by JonathanJ, here's some other Prima guide information:


  • Thanks for the info - is there a source/link for this?
    – JonathanJ
    Mar 26, 2013 at 4:57
  • Its a screenshot of the Prima strategy guide, that particular picture is from imgur
    – teeone
    Mar 28, 2013 at 3:34
  • Thanks - just wanted to check if there was some explanatory text around the picture - what about values between the quoted numbers? What about residential vs commercial vs industrial? Thanks for the info anyway.
    – JonathanJ
    Mar 28, 2013 at 4:00
  • I don't think there's a Prima Guide screenshot of any other information other than what I linked in my answer.
    – teeone
    Mar 28, 2013 at 8:34

There is no always correct and optimal answer (and there shouldn't be). But here are the guidelines:

  1. Low taxes increases growth. In this SimCity people really like low taxes.
  2. High taxes increases income. Obviously, yes.
  3. But too high taxes causes people to move out.

The important part here is the tradeoff between growth and income. Sometimes I zone large areas of resedential and set the tax to 0% for a while to fill them really quickly. Sometimes you want to (or recently have) placed an expensive building and want to sacrifice growth to get your money back. In the end where your entire plot is filled with skyscrapers you dont need growth and can start milking your city for money (usually to jump start your next city).

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