The Carrot Rebellion

Spain recently raised the value-added-tax (VAT) on cultural activities to 21%, which didn't sit well with theater owners. One theater in Bescanó staged a revolt by using carrots! Theater owner Quim Marcé explains:

"We said, 'This is the end of our theater, and many others.' But then the next morning, I thought, we've got to do something, so that we don't pay this 21 percent, and we pay something more fair," says Marcé in Spanish.

He looked out his window at farmland that surrounds this village, two hours north of Barcelona, and suddenly had an idea: Instead of selling tickets to his shows, he'd sell carrots.

"We sell one carrot, which costs 13 euros [$16] — very expensive for a carrot. But then we give away admission to our shows for free," he explains in Spanish. "So we end up paying 4 percent tax on the carrot, rather than 21 percent, which is the government's new tax rate for theater tickets."

Classified as a staple, carrots are taxed at a much lower rate and were spared new tax hikes that went into effect here on September 1.

Theater patrons love the idea, and bought plenty of carrots. Marcé also has the support of the local mayor, but other officials say the scheme is plainly tax evasion. Link -via Arbroath

(Image credit: Quim Marcé)

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Solution #2: Instead of charging money for tickets, ask theatergoers to make a donation of food to the theater in exchange for each ticket. The next day, the theater can sell the produce at a farmers' market or something and pay the 4%.
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This is not going to fly in the long term - if the theatres are allowed to get away with it, so will everyone else, using similar avoidance schemes. It's a fun idea but I fear it won't last. Great publicity for their message though.
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