Theater Avoids Ticket Tax By Selling Admission Carrots

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This post originally appeared on Newser.

When new austerity measures in Spain bumped the tax on theater tickets to 21% over the summer, Quim Marcé figured his theater in the small town of Bescanó would go under.

Then he had an idea: Why not sell carrots, plentiful in the farmland that surrounds the village, instead of tickets? “We sell one carrot, which costs [$16]—very expensive for a carrot,” he explains to NPR. “But then we give away admission to our shows for free.”

The theater pays just 4% tax on the carrots sold, since the vegetables are classified as a staple and thus not taxed nearly as much. Theater tickets, which used to carry just an 8% tax, are now taxed at the highest possible rate.

Spain loves the “Carrot Rebellion,” as it has been dubbed; shows at the theater are selling out and even the local mayor is on the owner’s side. But an economist warns that the theater director is actually committing tax evasion, and is making things more difficult on the businesses that are paying what they owe.