As predicted in a previous article by Rhivre, through another lore announcement, changes to EVE’s tax system have been revealed to the public – both transaction tax and brokerage fees are being hiked to 5%, from 2% and 3% respectively.
This joins a cadre of economic changes such as the VNI ratting nerf, the Insurance nerf, and the Blackout, which have targeted overactive ISK faucets of the economy directly. To go along with this, we now have one of the biggest sinks in the game being further expanded, likely in an attempt to curb any further ISK inflation.
Transaction tax is the flat fee which is taken by the SCC on every single sell transaction, which is a 1% cost with the related skill, Accounting, at level 5. This will now be raised to 2.5% with max skills, with the impact of each level of Accounting going from 0.2% to 0.5% per level, making that skill vastly more important to trading profitability.
Brokerage fees are calculated as part of placing either a buy or sell order, and follow a more complicated formula than is worth explaining here, but had a base value of 3% and could be lowered to around 2%. Following the changes, this is expected to rise to a minimum of 3% of order value with perfect standings, increasing the cost of setting up any order by 50%. However, this change doesn’t affect the fees that are charged in Citadels, as the rates charged in these citadels are both controlled and paid to their owners. This is the fee from which the Tranquility Trading Tower in Perimeter makes its profit.
In the last MER, these sinks took 21.5 trillion ISK out of the economy, accounting for a little over a third of all the ISK that was removed from player circulation. If these taxes ended up not changing player behaviour, this would balloon to 48.9 trillion ISK.
Given the now relatively large and increased advantage of broker fees offered by player citadels, however, it seems likely that we will start to see trading of some more high velocity goods in player citadels, although it’s likely market momentum and safety will keep places like Jita 4-4 active for a long time. It will also be interesting to see if there’s a greater usage of contracts following this change, given that they’re able to bypass all of these taxes, whilst operating in the safety of any NPC stations.
However, as always with economic changes like this, it’s best to wait and see before passing judgement.