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Challenge to Puerto Rico Excise Tax on "Little Cigars" Extinguished

By FindLaw Staff on February 23, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In Pleasures of San Patricio, Inc. v. Mendez-Torres, No. 08-2388, the First Circuit faced plaintiff's constitutional challenge to the Puerto Rico's cigarette excise tax recently imposed on "little cigars" imported from North Carolina.

Under the Butler Act: "No suit for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax imposed by the laws of Puerto Rico shall be maintained in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico."

Thus, in affirming the district court's dismissal, the court held that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to the Butler Act because the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico courts have provided a plain, speedy, and efficient remedy.

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