Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Another Increase To The SCC Surcharge

On the first day of February I noticed a new patch note for EVE Online:

Features & Changes:

Science & Industry:

  • The SCC surcharge component of the Industry Job Installation Fee has been increased from 1.5% to 4%.

To learn more about the Industry Job Installation Fee and how it's calculated, you can check out the Viridian Expansion Notes here or over on the EVE University wiki.

When the Viridian expansion launched on 13 June, CCP made the following changes in an effort aid owners of facilities in low manufacturing index systems by letting them "set their taxes to a very low value but still gain a meaningful income while still staying competitive." 

  • Adjusted industry facility tax in NPC stations to 0.25% from 10%. 
  • Adjusted Alpha clone tax to 0.25% from 2%. 
  • Added a 0.25% tax that goes to the SCC. 
  • The maximum tax that can be set for industry services will be capped at 10%. 
  • You can now adjust your fees to 2 decimal places rather than being limited to 1. 

That didn't make much sense to me, because if the manufacturing index is low, then players can set their facility taxes higher. But not too high because the industry facility tax in NPC stations was set to 0.25%. Maybe someone can explain in the comments why the explanation makes sense.

Apparently, the new ISK sink of the SCC surcharge was not fulfilling its purpose, because last Thursday was the third time the tax was raised in the last eight months. The current running tally of the changes are:

  • 6 July 2023: changed from 0.25% to 0.75%
  • 12 September 2023: changed from 0.75% to 1.5%
  • 1 February 2024: changed from 1.5% to 4.0%

I wondered just how much additional ISK the latest increase would remove from the New Eden economy. Based on the December 2023 monthly economic report, a not insignificant amount. The SCC surcharge was the 11th largest ISK sink at 1.8 trillion ISK. If the SCC surcharge had been 4%, an additional 3 trillion ISK, representing 2.6% of all ISK sinks in EVE in December. At 4%, the SCC surcharge would have tied the Hypernet Relay Tax as the 7th largest ISK sink at 4.8 trillion ISK.

Building a Porpoise in Heimatar, February 2024

That is macro-level economics. But what does that really mean to a builder? I'll take myself as an example. I want to build a Porpoise, but have delayed gathering all the materials. If I had built the ship last month, I would only have paid the SCC a fee of 2,965,222.71 ISK. Now, I have to pay 7,907,260.56 ISK, an increase of 4,942,037.85 ISK, or 167%.

Both the manufacturer in the high manufacturing activity system of Amamake (security rating 0.4) and  low activity Klir (security rating 0.8) had the same absolute install cost rise. But on a percentage basis, the SCC surcharge comprises 31.3% of the cost of installing a job in a station in Amamake whereas in Klir, the percentage is 86.6%. Instead of job installation costs being 20.6% of the cost in Klir, the costs are now 36.1% the cost in Amamake. Proportionally, the costs have shifted in the favor of the system with the higher manufacturing activity.

The cost won't keep me from making my own Porpoise, especially with the cost of Porpoise in Rens currently running at 146 million ISK. If I purchased the rest of the minerals I need off the market, I can build the ship for half that amount. But the increase in the SCC surcharge, at least for the Porpoise in the Heimatar region of the Minmatar Republic, is 3.5% of the value of the ship. I'm sure producers will pass the price increase along to the consumer. I'm just not sure that is an unintended consequence or not.

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