No revenue from carbon tax

Hi all,

I was wondering why I had so much trouble balancing my budget late game. That’s when I realized that the carbon tax was giving me zero revenues because the environment was so pristine. Is this a bug? Or was this intended?

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The carbon tax number is probably based on your CO2 emissions not “The Environment”, you should check your game too, but I have a poor enough “The Environment” that I have climate protests and no income from the Carbon tax because my CO2 emissions number is zero.

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Actually I think you may be right, I also have climate protests. Which doesn’t make sense if emissions are zero either.

It seems the carbon tax has been nerfed from the previous game, which is probably fair since it generated a ton of revenue in Democracy 3. And yeah, even in Democracy 3 the carbon tax’s revenue goes down over time due to reduced CO2 emissions.

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Feels completely unrealistic though. Forces me to have over 70% income tax and super high sales taxes that give me tax evasion and black markets even if my GDP is 100%, I have public tax returns and I STILL have a deficit.

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What are you spending all of your money on? I went fully nationalized/most public services maxed out + UBI and had income tax at ~52% without running a defecit.

I found the formula for carbon tax income in the game files, it is:


In other words, it only depends on and is directly proportinal to CO2 emissions which makes sense. If no one is emitting CO2, who is supposed to be paying the tax?

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Then why am I still getting revenues from petrol tax? Lol

Ha, good point. Sounds like we have not linked petrol tax to emissions properly.
Petrol tax income depends on car usage and takes into account the switch to EVs, so it sounds like you do not have a fully electric car economy, so yup, there should be some CO2 somewhere…

Can you share a screenshot of your blue-circle details for CO2 emissions? Car usage should definitely be affecting it…
I think the problem is likely that the equations for energy efficiency, clean energy etc are a bit strong and are compensating for the car usage… meaning you are calculated to have zero emissions, but gas-guzzling cars still exist…yikes.


I’ve played a couple turns since I posted this so I have some minimal revenues now… but when it was zero it was no longer even showing up on the revenue screen.

While take a look at my pollution! Also petrol tax revenue. image|375x500

Nothing too wild…

Interesting, we will try to balance this better. Also note that the carbon tax actually has circular references. It taxes CO2 so less of it gets emitted, which reduces its own revenue, so it can become a victim, of its own success :smiley:


I wonder if it might help to add more interactivity/connections between pollution effects and co2 effects?

That does make sense, but it also adds a certain level of a perverse incentive as a player, basically to crank up emissions or simply not to address climate change because I’m in a debt crisis.

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Indeed, although we do explicitly try not to cheat the system in any way, regarding the design. So that affect definitely exists (basically any tax on something negative is ultimately self defeating), so it has to be in the game, and the fact that people spot that this can lead to perverse incentives is great, as those incentives do exist in real public policy.

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That makes sense. For balance purposes, this late-game loss of revenues can be compensated for perhaps by our earlier discussion with regards to revenues from SOE, so middle class taxes don’t have to be jacked up so high and lead to black markets and other things even in the presence of public tax returns.

On that last note, I was wondering why unemployment benefits reduced the effect of black markets while child benefits did not?

good point on child benefit. I guess the implication is that child benefit isn’t going to as many people…but thats likely not true, and depends on the level of unemployment. I shall give this some thought, but I agree it looks weird. maybe that effect on the black market shouldn’t exist at all.

It makes sense in terms of tax evasion. Here in Canada the child benefit is administered through the tax system, so like all benefits (like disability as well) it should induce people who otherwise might not be on the tax rolls to register in order to receive their benefits.

On the unemployment benefit, you have the case of someone receiving income without working. So if you’re modeling a black market of someone who might otherwise be taking wage income without declaring it, like black market employment, it would reduce that effect. So that does make sense.

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It’s intended as carbon tax taxes CO2 if they’re is little to no CO2 production then their is nothing to tax and as such no tax revenue

The solution here is surely to have a gross and net carbon emissions value- one for the tax, the other for the other effects. I figure the gross would be hidden, but that still poses problems for routing the display of the source of emissions past that to the net emission sim value.

It’s cleaner than needing to hook up every source of emissions to the tax directly, anyway. Any other solution requires more sim values.