I'm just starting a small-ish city and I've been told that I shouldn't put in a lot of city services like water or schools until I have a good source of income. I've been keeping a straight $200 or so flow of cash every month, so at least I don't lose money every first day of a new month. I know that the more zones I build the more taxes I get because more houses/businesses/industry means more taxes coming in from them.
However, the city's not really expanding that quickly at all, mostly because I'm reluctant to zone more. The bigger the city gets, the more the citizens demand, so even if I get more money from the larger number of houses/businesses/industry, I still have to spend more because I need to build more city services that cost me more money, so I don't get more than $200-ish a month.
So how can I break out of this "loop"? Is there a quicker way to get more tax money quicker? I'm on a small-size lot and don't have any other cities in my region, just to throw that out there.
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Well, how much money is in your coffers? If you have more than 100, 000 simoleans then zone some more.
If I had a Nickel for every time I found a Nickel, I'd get 10 cents each time I found a nickel.
I have around 230,000. Is that too much to keep to myself? I don't want to just throw all my money in case I start to lose money, but maybe I'm saving way too much.
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How many citizens? Just zone more. And more. And more. By the time they start to demand the services revenue should outweigh the cost.
This never worked out for me, which is strange considering I used to be a biz whiz in SimCity 2000 and SimCity 3000. A lot has changed for this game, involving a lot more micromanagement. Yeah, it's fun, but I just never seemed able to make more than a surplus of $200. The more I built, like the OP said, the more people demanded. Utilities and such, etc. First I put in the smallest of the small, but the city kept expanding, getting bigger. My biggest concern is how many of the city plots are just too small; before I knew it I had taken up the whole land with a city that continued to push a $200 surplus with a population of 20,000 in a matter of playing the game for only a few hours.
Maybe I'm making the mistake of treating it like its predecessors. I did the tutorials, even learned a few things (as there are new aspects to the game), but nothing seems to work.
"Reading rots your mind."
Once you get used to the game, its really easy to get cities with a ton of revenue. In my entire region my poorest city has about $1,000,000 in its coffers with my highest taxes being 5%. Hard mode, no cheats, no modified buildings. What I do is zone high density land and provide water from the start, this allows for a lot faster growth in a more consolidated area. Another big revenue source in dense cities is mass transit. In some of my cities my mass transit revenue alone provides about $12,000/mo. Start out with buses, put in subways when you can afford it. Another tactic I like to do is separate zones by region. So each area only has either residential, commercial, or industrial. That way you get three times the starting money, but the demand is still shared, and you don't have to deal with industrial pollution hurting other zones.
After I get a solid region going I can usually pop up new cities really fast, getting a 200-300K city in 10-20 years. Since the demand is shared, in a densely populated region any city can grow fast, you just need the economic capital to do it. This is where loans come in. Loans may seem like a bad idea, since you have to pay them back with interest. But if you use them to zone more development that you know will bring in extra revenue you get fast growth, and a great return on whatever you paid in interest. As for cities after they have been developed, once you hit a certain point they will stop growing and revenue will stagnate. For residential zones build public services and parks/recreational buildings to raise the cap on development, for commercial zones plaza's and airports, and with industrial sea ports. Good luck to you guys in the game.
Economic Left/Right: 9.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.05