Poetic Stanziel discussed alternative means of alliance wide income in Eve Online
Poetic Discourse: Bottom-Up Taxation – The Tools Already Exist
OTEC alliances want bottom-up income generation. Actually, every alliance would love bottom-up income generation. Along with the ability to tax that income at a more granular level. Nerfing passive and top-down income would be coupled with an increase in income from nullsec-based missions, industry, incursions, ratting and deadspace. This income increase can either be direct or indirect (via nerfing corresponding highsec incomes.)
In my criticisms of the OTEC complaints over the loss of some of their massive tech income, I’ve never been against CCP implementing these sorts of bottom-up features. Unfortunately, there’s no strong sign that this sort of feature set is even on CCP’s development radar. It certainly doesn’t seem to be anything that CSM7 is pushing for. The current CSM’s two most active nullsec members (Seleene and Elise Randolph) are in Pandemic Legion, a group that makes technetium ISK hand-over-fist, yet has none of the overhead (or headache) of actually holding sovereignty. There’s really no reason why CSM7 would bother pushing this sort of feature. As for the Russian and Test Alliance representatives (UAxDEATH, Greene Lee and Dovinian), they’ve been mostly MIA through the CSM7 term.
My argument has been that tech income could not (and should not) continue unabated while these bottom-up features are being debated between the big nullsec powerblocs, some future CSM, and CCP. That the alchemy additions to include technetium production will be good for the game overall.
But, why do organizations, like Goonswarm Federation, have to wait for CCP to implement these new taxation features? Aren’t some of the tools already in place to start tracking their employee income already?
The information that can pulled from the API is reasonably extensive. Income sources can certainly already be tracked. And where a specific income might not be available, there’s enough circumstantial information to draw reasonably accurate inferences on those other sources of income.
From what I hear, Goonswarm’s API tracking software is already quite complex and extensive. It’s hard to say how much modification and extensions would be required to have it track all their employee incomes accurately, and then to spit out monthly earning reports on each employee, but it’s probably safe to say their software is already a good way developed in that direction.
Even if employees try to hide income via out-of-alliance alts, said income has to eventually make its way back to the employee. It’s fairly trivial to connect alts to mains via ISK and contract trades. (There are ways to hide these transfers, but they are very much a time-consuming pain in the ass.) If any organization is expert at sussing out these connections between characters, it’s most certainly Goonswarm Federation.
But then, once Goonswarm can reasonably track employee income, how do they send out tax bills and then track whether those bills are paid. The contract system would be one method. If a character owes 16M ISK in taxes, contract a single veldspar for the amount owing.
Of course, dealing with a few thousand contracts per month is an extraordinary undertaking of manual labour. But maybe this is where bots can be utilized. Seems that would be a reasonable use of botting software, even if CCP might argue it’s still an illegal use. CREST (the upcoming read/write API) might solve this problem. If the new API infrastructure allows 3rd party applications to create contracts, the entire process of taxation can be automated, start to finish.
And if the software ends up working like a charm, perhaps another revenue stream becomes available. Selling the software to other organizations. 50-100B ISK for something like this might not be an unreasonable sum to pay. Maybe even an initial lower fee and then some sort of ongoing licensing fee (payable in ISK, of course.)
So, yeah, tools already exist for any organization to calculate taxes on their employee revenue streams. None of this would solve the complaint that income generation in nullsec should be more lucrative than corresponding income sources in highsec and lowsec. Until those issues are sorted out through some future CSM with CCP, building out the software to tax further what’s already being earned should be a viable avenue of investigation by the large powers that have the talent to develop it.