To maximize the amount of money you’re getting from your planets, you need to know that the tax rate and population growth trade off directly. Here are some tips to help understand these mechanics. There are two basic methods for taxation: safe tax, and the growth method. I’m working on a mid-point method for comparison, based on planet climate and where the trade-off point exists between growth and continual taxation.
Happiness must be at 70 or above for growth.
There are no repercussions (other than lack of growth) for happiness levels of 40 or above.
The safe tax method basically assumes that you’ll be taxing your planet such that the inhabitants (colonists or natives) do not gain or lose happiness each turn. You get moderate but not optimal growth with this method, for most climates.
Tax planet such that happiness will equal 70 on the next turn (or at maximim rate until 70 is reached). Thereafter, set the tax rate to zero (0) and let the planet’s happiness recover. In the meantime, the population will be growing at maximum rate.
Taxes and Buildings
The more factories and mines you have on the planet, the unhappier your population will be, and the less you can tax them for the same amount of happiness loss. This also means that they won’t recover happiness as quickly, making the growth method less effective.
Example (generated using the VGAP Calculator):
Note: these vary heavily based on climate and # colonists as well. This is just a possible situation for a particular planet!
0 mines, 0 factories = +6 happiness
80 mines, 50 factories = +5 happiness
80 mines, 120 factories = +4 happiness
Climate Break-Even Point
If the climate is bad enough, but clans will still grow, there’s a point where it’s not actually worth growing your natives or colonists at the expense of taxes, but it varies heavily by climate, # natives, and structures. Plug in some numbers into the Calculator for a particular planet you want to test, and find out where the sweet spot is.