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How to make enough money to pay for things you NEED? - Printable Version

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How to make enough money to pay for things you NEED? - CaptainPatch - 21-04-2017

I've dabbled with the tutorial and I've sussed out most of the mechanics.  But for the life of me, I cannot fathom how a player is expected to pay for all of the things that one would expect a well-rounded city will have.  For example, just bringing in the railroad terminal will cost _2000K_.  (Plus a hefty monthly Maintenance.)  Adding a port will cost 1500K.  (Plus a hefty monthly Maintenance.  When Electricity rolls around, just laying down the grid in ONE district is expensive -- and a well-rounded city will have EVERY district electrified.  Then too, the electrical power plant is hugely expensive.  (And I _think_ it has limited range, such that to power the entire city will require a power plant in each district.

Then there's things like schools (grammar, high school, vocational, and university) [with one of each in each district to fully satisfy the citizens' needs].  And Medical facilities.  And Police coverage (stations and call boxes).  And incidentals like water distribution, gas lines, etc.  All of these things make rounding out a city similar to actual European equivalents from the appropriate era pretty much thoroughly impossible.  It takes a HUMONGOUS amount of money to service just ONE district, which means that there needs to be a humongous population of tax-paying citizens and companies.... more than what just one district could accommodate.  So that means more districts which in turn means more services needing to be built, which in turn means more taxpayers are required, which in turn means more districts, which in turn mean means more required services, etc.

I can NOT see how any caring mayor could possibly take care of all of the needs of ALL of his city's citizens.

RE: How to make enough money to pay for things you NEED? - billyplod - 21-04-2017

Ha just like real life. Cities in debt. I agree by the way. Tried several scenarios but keep getting busted. The best thing I've come up with is to go for the big tax hike early in the game.

RE: How to make enough money to pay for things you NEED? - CaptainPatch - 21-04-2017

I started a new full campaign; no tutorial. I'm just wrapping up the first era and I have about 25 _million_ in the Treasury. As you have surmised, the key is to max taxes (going from 10 to 20%) IMMEDIATELY, before the people even start to show up. [Oddity, that when the city pop is ZERO, there seem to be 61 Councillors already on the job.] Once the people and businesses start to arrive, Income starts pouring in faster than you have need to go spending. By the time the Railroad Terminal became an option, Treasury was already >10 million, so no hardship forking out 2 mil for the terminal.

An interesting side-effect to have an excessively fat Treasury: The Council doesn't oppose anything that you propose. Why should they? Spend whatever and the Treasury is STILL fat. I've built five districts and I'm researching Electricity already. (Completion triggers Era II.) I can propose a new district and immediately place a Grammar School, a Police Precinct, a Clinic, a Church, a Vocational School, the Water grid with Sewers, a Theater, and if I wanted to, the Gas grid. [With Electricity on the horizon, I see no need to spend money to place a Gas grid. It will just be made obsolete by the Electricity grid.] Such an expensive proposal, and the Council doesn't even blink. Measure passes Nays <10, Ayes >41. The upkeep for all that will put a hefty dent in the Income, but as @1000 new citizens arrive and the businesses flourish, Income recovers quickly.

Oh, another useful tip: For all of the Service centers that you place, ASAP, Endorse them. (Have to wait until they are actually built and become active.) Doing so adds a Prestige point to your mayor. Plus you can renew an Endorsement about every 12 months, so the Prestige points start to rack up. Giving an endorsement also has the extra benefit of extending the Service centers primary zone @5%, improving citizens' lives and nudging up your Approval numbers.

RE: How to make enough money to pay for things you NEED? - Omnius Prime - 21-04-2017

Captain Patch,
Rethink the gas lines, they help increase business sales in many businesses, both commercial and industrial. The electricity grid doesn't really replace the gas grid. Also watch out for accumulating too much cash on hand, then you'll experience turns where you lose all commercial and industrial income as there is some kind of adjustment feature that keeps cash on hand down over time. Be careful not to raise the tax rate too much or you'll never have a thriving economy.

Omnius Prime

RE: How to make enough money to pay for things you NEED? - CaptainPatch - 22-04-2017

Ran into complications deeper into the game, towards the end of the II era. When the Treasury is exceedingly fat, the Parties will let you build pretty much whatever you want. What they _won't_ do is allow you to raise taxes in any meaningful way to offset the accumulating running costs of all those things you've built... until it's too late. While running costs ratchet up into the the hundreds of K each month, even a HUGE Treasury surplus shrinks real fast. And it isn't until the Treasury is once again moderate to small and the running costs are eroding the Treasury at an alarming rate that the Council permits you to come a-begging for a a tax increase. Which is inevitably "too little, too late." That is, the Treasury will be losing hundreds of K each month, but the proposal period will be TEN months. Running costs of, say, >500K each month will cost the Treasury 5 MILLION over ten months. That kind of wipes out a middling Treasury _real fast_. And then once the tax increase is approved, IF YOU ARE LUCKY, you will have at least a small positive cash flow, resulting in it taking many, many years before the Treasury is flush enough to add any improvements or new districts.

Just to stay at least a little bit ahead of the running costs, I've had to jack up taxes to >50% for both citizens and businesses. I'm pretty certain that taxes that high already (just approaching III era) is an omen of ultimate failure. And if I ever get hit with a major Recession, economic collapse is pretty much assured that much sooner.

As for the Gas grid, there is a later tech advance that provides for ripping out the Gas grid because it was made obsolete by the extensive use of electricity. However, that option (which provides _some_ kind of benefit I am sure) comes with some hefty Demolition costs more than likely. I suspect that perhaps NOT building the gas grid has a lost benefit/no Demolition costs balance. If I had built the Gas grid ASAP, by the time I ripped it out I would have spent a significant amount to install the grid IN EVERY DISTRICT, then paid the running costs each month (@120 of those) IN EACH DISTRICT. Weighed against whatever tax collection boost the access to Gas might have had to offer. My instincts tell me that once you add the Demolition costs to remove the Gas grid, whatever financial gain I might have had would have been rather minimal.

RE: How to make enough money to pay for things you NEED? - Omnius Prime - 22-04-2017

Yep tax rate of 50% or more will kill your economy. I'm surprised you need it that high. Obviously you managed to raise taxes, the timing is to ask for tax raise when you're running negative net income, the bigger the negative the higher you can raise taxes. However that kills commercial business and negatively affects industrial income. Watch for months where you see a really big negative net income number for raising taxes. Be wary of raising tax rates too high too fast, it's something of a losing proposition as you reduce the profitability of your businesses and that reduces their tax income. Then you're in a vicious cycle of raising taxes which kills business income and you need another tax raise. Yes you will see some recessions and that makes it tough to maintain a lower tax rate.

The edict that gets rid of the gas grid doesn't actually cost money to do the trick. It will cost you in reduced business and industrial income which means less taxes from them. I took out the gas grid once but didn't really see any savings so I won't do it again. The biggest cost is political in that that can be a tough edict to pass without lots of appealing or overturning a negative decision.

I've done some YouTube videos which you can access from the main page. You might want to check them out for ideas.

Omnius Prime

RE: How to make enough money to pay for things you NEED? - CaptainPatch - 23-04-2017

I got to my third mayor in the III era while the Great Depression was going on. I started a practice of not updating (Modifying) existing districts or creating a new district unless I had a income @ 1000 K, which allowed my Treasury to build up to >50 M again. Because of the huge Treasury, asking for anything new was a foregone conclusion. New things (upgrades or new districts, inevitably dinged the Treasury income Big Time, but give it a year or two and income would again be >1000 K again. The Treasury itself eventually got to >100 M.

When I had all of my districts upgraded, instead of spending on a new district, I started to roll back the business taxes, and then all of the citizen taxes as well. As you suggest, Industry and Commercial growth accelerated, which allowed me to reduce the citizen taxes as well. Now towards the end of the III era, I managed to get biz taxes to 50% and citizen taxes to 45%. I'm also running out of room for creating new districts. However, with a High density in all my districts, the Residential areas of the newer districts aren't filling up. (Which leaves more room for Service buildings.) In a decade or two, I will probably be able to roll taxes back to 20% or less. (As I really won't be having much to upgrade in my existing districts. Might as well lower taxes rather than letting the Treasury just keep building waaayyyy past 100+ M.) [Too bad excess Treasury doesn't draw interest. Where's all that money being kept? Under the mayor's mattress rather than in the bank?]

RE: How to make enough money to pay for things you NEED? - CaptainPatch - 23-04-2017

ADDENDA: By the time I finished with my 4th mayor, I had totally exhausted the tech web. (Sant' Elias can do that.) I had also exhausted all available district expansion space. So mayor #5 just wrapped up bringing all of the districts up to speed on max available Service items. Now the ONLY thing I have to do is slowly drop the citizen tax rate by 1% every time my cashflow is > a positive 1000 K. (Reduces income by @250 K each time, which comes back pretty quick.) The Treasury itself is >75 M and steadily growing -- because I no longer have anything to spend it on.

FYI, the city pop just passed 46K. Have no idea what happens at 50k or 100K.

RE: How to make enough money to pay for things you NEED? - Omnius Prime - 23-04-2017

Finishing research by the end of the 4th era seems to be standard regardless of family. One thing you'll have to worry about as you approach about 90K in population is pollution. Getting to near 90 K seems to be the limit, sadly we can't do big cities. You can cut taxes before $1,000 K in net income, or drop them 2 points with plenty to spare. Are you having fun with the mayor elections?

Omnius Prime

RE: How to make enough money to pay for things you NEED? - CaptainPatch - 23-04-2017

(23-04-2017, 05:22 PM)Omnius Prime Wrote: Are you having fun with the mayor elections?
Mayor #4 spent most of her career having to Threaten at least one or two Parties to assure being reelected.  Thus far with #5, it has been Easy Street, with no need to apply pressure on anyone.  (Apparently the councilors like a mayor that keeps cutting taxes.)

RE: How to make enough money to pay for things you NEED? - Omnius Prime - 24-04-2017

I never threaten, just use appeal. You do have to be careful about your prestige and overall political acceptance by the council. Yep cutting taxes does appeal to the conservative parties. How are you doing with wheel of life values? Those can be tough to keep at 10 late in the game, especially the environment.

Omnius Prime

RE: How to make enough money to pay for things you NEED? - CaptainPatch - 24-04-2017

(24-04-2017, 03:48 PM)Omnius Prime Wrote: How are you doing with wheel of life values? Those can be tough to keep at 10 late in the game, especially the environment.

Most are at 10 or at 9.  The low elements are Environmental (7) and Fun (6).  The problems with having already built all the districts that can fit on the map during the reign of Mayor #4 is that EVERYWHERE is already filled up by the time #5 took office.  I would have to demolish something to bring in some additional Parks and Theatres.  I fear that that in turn would alter some of the other values negatively.

I finished off this particular game when he hit the Time Limit.  I looked at the various Victory types and I seem to have hit 7-out-of-10 across the board.  Not Bad, but definitely not Great either.

Having seen the outcome for Sant'Elias, I'm not all that inclined to do another run.  The background descriptions of the other three families does not appeal to me at all; they all seem like monumental jerks as being a primary family trait.  As for Sant'Elias, #5 never married or spawned any children for the next generation, so it looks like that is where the Sant'Elias Dynasty ends.

RE: How to make enough money to pay for things you NEED? - Omnius Prime - 26-04-2017

Don't be afraid to play the other families just because they aren't all made out to be super at research. Each family has it's own unique abilities. I found out the Shusky's get a tidy sum near the beginning of the game, $2 million if you answer a question correctly. Plus you want to try each map to see how they work out for making districts.

Also you don't have to build everything for every district, that's overkill. There are two types of garbage cans, regular and fine and all you really need is the fine one. Also don't be afraid to demolish buildings to make room for some service building you may need. Or to get rid of bad businesses to hopefully get a better bigger business growing there. You want to avoid demolishing districts except in the Downsizing scenario where you have to to win.

Omnius Prime