I dislike how the tax -> unrest mechanic is currently implemented because it affects 3 things - gildar production, production, and research - 2 of which are seemingly unrelated to taxes. The first is obvious and correct - higher taxes, more gildar. But do higher taxes equal lower production? Do they equal less research? I don't think either of those statements i true (except at extremes), which is why I think taxes / unrest needs another pass.
People, especially people in a post-apocalyptic world, aren't going to work less because of reasonable tax levels. They work less and they become more likely to die to some wandering monster. Not finishing that last spearmen army or the hedge wall might mean the difference between them living and dying next time some wolves come to attack. And the researchers certainly aren't going to start slacking off because you're taxing them.
I'm sure there are a hundred ways to implement it, but here's my idea:
Taxes affect Gildar and Growth. The idea being that people are joining your town from the wilderness because it's safer. And, in return for that safety, they pay taxes, provide labor, do research, etc. If taxes are at none or low, people will flock to your cities because they'll get protection at almost no cost. If taxes are crushing, some might think that they can protect themselves, it's not worth giving up all of their income.
On the standard end, taxes don't affect production or research.
Normal Taxes: Same gildar as normal taxes now, and no affect on growth
Low Taxes: Lower income, increased growth
No Taxes: No income from taxes, greatly increased growth
But on the higher end, people start getting pissed off and start showing their displeasure by striking or slowing work, or maybe even leaving
High Taxes: Increased gildar, decreased growth, some very low unrest level
Crushing Taxes: Greatly increased gildar, negative growth as people leave, moderate unrest level.
Unrest affects Gildar, Production, Research. Unrest is caused by conquering a city, spells, and high taxes. It roughly corresponds to people stopping work because they don't like the current regime. The implementation should be roughly the same as it is now, but the causes would be different.
An additional option might be to cause raising taxes to any levels to temporarily increase unrest, to prevent people from constantly shifting their tax rate. People don't like taxes being raised.