SimCity BuildIt – Taxes & Population

SimCity BuildIt – Taxes & Population

Tax v Population

Hey everyone! Here is a quick post on SimCity BuildIt – Taxes & Population.

>As a refresher, taxes accumulate daily based on how many Sims are living in your city. You collect these taxes by clicking on the gold coin that floats above your City Hall building.

Here is the tax screen (don’t worry, it will display ‘taxes’ in your primary language :D). It is very important to keep your Sims happy (above 90%) to gain the 20% tax rate, otherwise you will receive LESS tax revenue.

taxes increase happiness

If you need more information on how to keep your Sims happy, please check out our guide here.

Tax versus Population

EDIT: Updated to v.2 with your data points! Thanks for contributing!

This comes from sgitkene over at /r/scbuildit who decided to collect some data on taxes and population. The graph below I created using their raw data available here.

Post Cover - Tax Population Graph V2

Previous version v.1


 Taxes  Population
Mean 243412.6018 Mean 12363.81448
Standard Error 11464.54959 Standard Error 245.9158662
Median 174548.5 Median 12683.5
Mode 29590 Mode 6577
Standard Deviation 241028.3524 Standard Deviation 5170.085015
Sample Variance 58094666646 Sample Variance 26729779.06
Kurtosis 7.637771525 Kurtosis -0.568637556
Skewness 2.156434107 Skewness -0.227596121
Range 1816530 Range 25119
Minimum 0 Minimum 400
Maximum 1816530 Maximum 25519
Sum 107588370 Sum 5464806
Count 442 Count 442



Taxes and population is not a linear equation. It is logarithmic based on your population. sgitkene has created these intervals that provide the equation of best fit

Interval Ranges
Interval Population Range Equation
1 0 – 5,000 1199+0.336*pop
2 5,000 – 50,000 2133+0.1493*pop
3 50,000 – 100,000 7148+0.04864*pop
4 100,000 – 500,000 10200+0.018*pop
5 500,000+ 16800+0.0048*pop

Visually, you can immediately see a sharp rise in taxes between intervals 1,2 and 3. In interval 4 between 100,000 to 500,000, tax gains level out even more. The last interval between 500,000 – 1,800,000 (for now) sees another slowdown in tax gains. We will see if the Tokyo Town update effects any of the tax rates.

The highest recorded tax – 25,519 with a population of 1,816,530

Interestingly enough, there looks to be several trends forming below our main line of best fit.These could be evidence of some players seeing a drop in taxes.

Want to help the community out?

Now that Tokyo Town is out, I’ve separated the old data entered previously with any new tax information we receive. If any under the hood tax changes were applied, they will not get mixed in with the old data.

If you would like to contribute to this guide, please enter your city’s population and tax amount in this Google Form.

EDIT: Thanks to all those who have submitted their population and tax data! We have more than doubled our data set! Keep on reporting!

EDIT 2: Version 2 has released. Thanks to those with honest answers. Big frowns to those who submit bogus data.. you disappoint us 🙁

Before submitting responses
Be sure your city has AT LEAST 90% happiness
Enter correct information

Thanks! (Link to form if embed doesn’t work)

  • metteo

    don’t want to bias your data, so should i submit multiple data points (when my town progresses) or are you looking for one entry per city?

    • Jaanko

      We are looking for as many data points as possible! Feel free to submit as many as you like 🙂

  • bajujaga

    Just a few things I noticed
    1. do you need to factor in type of homes? luxury, premium, standard? or its all control by population? mine is 100% luxury
    2. I have 1mil population. I noticed one day I had like 21k in 24H then now its showing 9k+ in 24H. Does collecting the coins affect it? Based on your chart something is off on mine or is there a right way of reading taxes in 24H (suggest you include this in this tutorial, i.e. how to extract the tax information)

    • 1.Tax is entirely dependent on population.
      2.Once you hit 500k population tax gain goes to almost 0 per new inhabitant. Only 9k is very odd, that should not happen. You should have around 21k. You need to collect coins at least every 24h, never try to “save up” taxes as it will reduce income.

  • For the exact formula check out

    1.Tax is entirely dependent on pop.
    2.Tax gain is linear in specified intervals.
    3.Tax gain goes to almost 0 once you hit 500k population.

  • MarcusDrake

    OK, I’m going to do some more research into this, but it appears that the taxes generated vary from one coin to the next. I have a pop of nearly 200k and happiness of 100% and got 141 sims in taxes. I produced some items and upgraded a building and the next tax collection produced 154 sims.

    • MarcusDrake

      Verified: Did Nothing, collected taxes: 141 Sims. Upgraded Building, collected taxes: 153 sims. Upgraded Several buildings, collected taxes: 200 sims. Did nothing again, taxes: 141 sims.
      So, it seems you get a one time tax bonus when you upgrade buildings.

      • Actually we’re looking at taxes gained per 24 hours. What you’re talking about is the tax you collect when tapping the coin. If you wait longer, you gain more. You always earn the same amount of taxes per 24h as long as you tap at least once every 24h.

  • Felixypm

    Population Tax rate # house
    125062 7837 64
    120170 7830 64
    114818 7822 64
    110145 7815 64
    100041 7800 64
    93890 7742 64
    89213 7698 64
    80531 7617 64
    72152 7521 64
    123263 7834 64
    96733 7769 64
    77126 7585 64
    63981 7462 64

    all above 90% happiness
    Seems, not only proportional to population, but also number of residence

    • Interesting. Your tax income is really low for your population. Care to go go into scbuildit app while not online and check taxes again?

      • Felixypm

        After the Tokyo update, my tax is back to “Normal”
        The data with population(POP) above 95 000 is from my main game. Level 43
        Data with POP below 95000 is another game. Level 12.
        Not sure why the tax detached from the “Normal” trend after population get pass around 50 000.

        POP Tax Slope
        0 0
        1,781 1,798 1.0095
        2,353 1,990 0.3357
        3,220 2,281 0.3356
        5,632 2,950 0.2774
        6,384 3,035 0.1130
        9,421 3,375 0.1120
        11,646 3,624 0.1119
        13,044 3,780 0.1116
        15,001 4,000 0.1124
        19,362 4,488 0.1119
        21,919 4,774 0.1118
        26,923 5,335 0.1121
        30,263 5,709 0.1120
        33,029 6,019 0.1121
        39,621 6,768 0.1136
        46,142 7,487 0.1103
        49,814 7,899 0.1122
        50,998 7,941 0.0355
        52,354 7,970 0.0214
        53,343 7,992 0.0222
        57,942 8,091 0.0215
        58,820 8,110 0.0216
        96,478 11,830 0.0988
        100,002 12,000 0.0482
        100,500 12,009 0.0181
        103,113 12,056 0.0180
        132,804 12,590 0.0180
        170,881 13,275 0.0180
        208,312 13,949 0.0180
        234,560 14,422 0.0180
        263,663 14,945 0.0180
        290,570 15,430 0.0180
        328,909 16,120 0.0180
        335,512 16,239 0.0180

        • Felixypm

          Sorry for the shitty format, it wasn’t like this in the message box.

  • Crush632

    Can you share the raw data for us arithmophiles to work with? Just looking at your graph I see three “near”-linearities. My first impression of the graph is that the game has tax “brackets” of some sort. Also, people with the chance can move parks or other buildings to give slight adjustments to their population, this can yield a small handful of pairs of data per city. Thank you guys for putting this together.

  • Crush632

    Here is what I think is the formula for taxes, paste into Excel and replace population with whatever cell you are inputting the population into:


    • Crush632


      Slightly improved equation, paste into any cell in Excel (except for cell A1), type the population into cell A1, and voila!

      • vortexrap

        Apolgies for the late replies.. updating this guide too a back seat in all the tokyo town update business.. sgitkene had put together intervals and equations for us a while back but I failed to update the guide to reflect the changes. Its now updated to v.2 with the new data and formulas pasted. If you would like some of the raw data I can send them your way.

    • Shoulda been reply to crush632 oh well

    • Crush632

      I think we came to the same conclusion! I did massage the mid range values slightly to round them out. If we get a tax value for each population from 0 to 5,000; or any of the intervals, we can be sure of the formula. Unfortunately there isn’t a function known yet that determines the interval or the values. But great job to all who contributed! And to you sgitkene for your work! Those two new trends are interesting and I’m anxious to find out what’s governing them.

  • Mase21fly

    Why arent the taxes collected per 24 hours not 20% of population like it says

  • Kim Wendel Frydensbjerg Christ

    I can tell you that both my cities follows this to almost exact numbers, although they are very different.

  • I began to notice this as well. I think’s it’s ridiculous to claim we are getting 20% taxes if the more ppl you get the less you tax. This alone has almost made me delete the game.

  • Seth Johnson

    Pretty disappointing to be at nearly 200K pop and only 14K in tax revenue (my happiness has been at 100% since day 1). It has been said on numerous reviews that the game basically punishes you for increasing your population/city size and I couldn’t agree more. It is harder for you to make money at the trade depot after level 25, all of your buildings require hours and hours of building goods for a measly 1K and you can NEVER get anything off of the global trade HQ that you need. I have not seen a Dr. Vu activator icon in two weeks and now Daniel stopped selling them. Once your population hits over 80K and you are into the 20 levels, the fun of the game is sucked right out of it. Time to delete this turd and find something better.

  • Russell Wiley

    I can’t say that I can agree with your analysis of how taxes are calculated. What I’m about to tell you here will also explain why it seems that taxes have a sharp taper as you go up in levels.

    A couple weeks ago, I submitted to your site the population of my city of about 511,000 making just over 20,000. Then I did a total reorganization. Prior to the change I had one large Fire Department, one large Hospital. 6-8 medium sized police stations, with about 10 small ones, and 10-15 small fire departments and clinics with zero medium sized health clinics that covered every bit of the 102 residential areas . To go with that. I had mostly 1×1 parks with the exception of the monkey statue and 5 holiday markets and some reflecting pools. Everything else was 1×1. Education was 1 University, 2 community colleges and one of each of the lower tier education buildings, Transportation was 1 bus terminal, 1 London bus terminal, 1 Airship hanger and 2 heliports, Beach was 2 piers, 1 lighthouse, 1 lifeguard tower, 1 relaxing beach, 1 surfer beach, 1 volleyball court and 1 carousel. Mountain was 1 Cozy Cottage, 1 Mountain train station, 1 Mountain side cottage, 1 Mountain lift and 1 ski hotel. Entertainment areas have not been started, nor has Gambling, Landmarks or Worship. I had 10 Coal Plants, 1 water pumping station with 14 water towers, Sewage was 1 Deluxe Sewage and 3 Basic Sewage Outflow Pipes, Waste Management was 3 Garbage Incinerators and 2 garbage dumps,

    Now before we get into what changed, watch these numbers. Purely based on population alone I would expect if I’m making 20k per day in taxes that a population increase should net more taxes. That is not the case. In fact, After the Reorganization I went from 511,000 (roughly) making 20k a day in taxes to my current population and taxes are 578623 making 19577. That is a significant increase in population, but a loss of revenue.

    So what’s changed? Education, Mountain and Transportation remain unchanged, as is Waste Management and still maintain the exact same 102 residential areas that I had prior to reorganizing. I now do not have any parks whatsoever that are 1×1. Most all parks are 1×2 with the exception of the monkey statue that I still have. I still have the same 5 holiday markets and 1 reflecting pool, but the remainder are all now peaceful parks placed side by side, which really boosts the population. Anywhere there are 4 peaceful parks hitting the same residential plot, it maxes out that population boost and placing more parks in the zero will net zero increase. (This is the sole reason for the reorganization in the first place.) Every police station is now the basic police station with the exception of 1 that is still small until I expand some more, then I will convert that to basic as well. Fire is now covered by 3 Large delux fire stations and two basic ones. All of the many small fire stations are now gone. I now have 3 hospitals with only 2 small clinics, Power was converted to Oil plants to get more power out of the same space, so I now have 4 Oil plants, but still maintain 2 of the original coal plants. Water is now covered entirely with 3 Water Pumping stations. There are no Water Towers at all now. I now have 2 Deluxe Treatment plants and 2 Basic Outflow pipes. Beach, I have added 2 more piers and I’ve added 2 things for Landmarks to start working on the Landmark quests. The Department of Culture and Big Ben. In addition, nearly all roads were destroyed during the reconstruction and it did not require any road upgrades for a day, then slowly they wanted the roads upgrade and it took another week to upgrade the roads so everyone was happy again.

    Now where you may have been able to come up with some equations that seem to fit the mold, it doesn’t explain the outliers. Like why did my original configuration not fit the equation at all, but was making more than what it should have, but after the reorganization I fit right into that mold.

    My own personal conclusion is that most people cover the largest area they can with a single service rather than a bunch of smaller services, but I didn’t do that originally for the most part. I had a lot more smaller services, fire, police, clinic, parks etc. After the reorg, I have mostly larger services covering more area in one shot, but more space now to develop the Specializations that I am lacking.

    I believe based on my own experience with the game that taxes are actually calculated by Population and happiness minus the cost of services even though I could not place a single service and get the numbers to instantly change when adding additional services. It is the only thing that can explain a positive gain in population, but a net loss with the exact same residential buildings that were there before.

    This also explains why as you go higher in levels and are required to place more services, the net increase starts to taper off. It starts off going up quickly due to not needing any services at all, but as you’re required to place services, they cost money. The money comes directly from your net income. Thus rather than making you pay for it out of your current simoleans, you take a net loss in tax-based income revenue.

    If you really would like to get this thing right, I would suggest starting over from scratch collecting data. The data being collected should include the residential area count, the population, and how many of exactly what services and specializations each person has currently in their city. With enough data, you could then easily see how things change with different services and specializations. I’m sure that some cost in tax revenue and others do not, as it has been in the PC Simcity games over the years, but which ones are doing what is still left only to the knowledge of the programmers.

    I am half tempted to reorg again with nothing but the cheapest of each thing available just to see how things change, but that would be a huge financial burden to build it back up again.