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ures reasonably adapted to promote the purpose. The denaturing in order to render the making and sale of industrial alcohol compatible with the enforcement of prohibition of alcohol for beverage purposes is not always effective. The ignorance of some, the craving and the hardihood of others, and the fraud and cupidity of still others, often tend to defeat its object. It helps the main purpose of the Amendment, therefore, to hedge about the making and disposition of the denatured article every reasonable precaution and penalty to prevent the proper industrial use of it from being perverted to drinking it. The conclusion is fully supported by the decisions of this Court in Jacob Ruppert v. Caffey, 251 U. S. 264, 282, and National Prohibition Cases, 253 U. S. 350, Par. 11. See also Huth v. United States, 295 Fed. 35, 38.





No. 370. Submitted April 30, 1925.-Decided June 1, 1925.

1. Certiorari will not ordinarily be granted to review decisions of the Circuit Court of Appeals sustaining decisions of the Supreme Court of Porto Rico on local questions; but where the judgment of the Court of Appeals is a reversal, this Court cannot sustain a decision of the Porto Rico court without plausible grounds merely because the question is local. P. 470.

2. Porto Rican Act No. 9, of May 12, 1920, § 49, provides that municipal revenues shall embrace license taxes provided by Act No. 26, of March 28, 1914, "hereby declared to be in force", and "(f) any other tax" that may be levied by two-thirds of the municipal assembly the object or matter of which is not also the object of any federal or insular tax. Held that a municipal tax of ten cents per cwt. on sugar manufactured in the municipality is unauthorized, because taxation of the business of sugar mills is

Opinion of the Court.

268 U.S.

governed, and limits affixed, by the license tax provision in the Act of 1914. P. 471.

295 Fed. 809, affirmed.

CERTIORARI to a judgment of the Circuit Court of Appeals which reversed a judgment of the Supreme Court of Porto Rico. refusing to prevent collection of a municipal tax.

Mr. E. B. Wilcox, with whom Mr. Juan B. Soto was on the brief, for petitioner.

Mr. Francis G. Caffey, with whom Mr. George W. Study was on the brief, for respondent.

MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is a suit to prevent the collection of a tax imposed by a municipal ordinance of Carolina, Porto Rico, on the ground that the ordinance is void. The Supreme Court of the Island upheld the tax, 30 P. R. 413, but the judgment was reversed by the Circuit Court of Appeals, 295 Fed. 809, following its decision on the same day in Successors of C. & J. Fantauzzi v. Municipal Assembly of Arroyo, 295 Fed. 803. A writ of certiorari was granted by this Court. 265 U. S. 577. Had the Circuit Court of Appeals deferred to the local interpretation of Porto Rican statutes, we should not have granted a writ. We repeatedly have stated the reason for such deference, and we believe that the appellate jurisdiction was granted with other ends in view than that of setting the local courts right in their interpretation of their own laws. But since the case has been decided the other way we cannot avoid dealing with the merits and we should not be warranted in reversing the decision under review unless we thought either that it was wrong or at least that there was such plausible ground for the judgment reversed by it, that the local decision ought not to be disturbed.


Opinion of the Court.

The Supreme Court of Porto Rico expressed an intelligible doubt whether a bill for an injunction would lie in this class of cases, but no error was assigned on that ground, and in view of our opinion on the merits there is no sufficient reason for opening that question. When we come to the merits we are compelled to agree with the Circuit Court of Appeals as we understand the reasoning of that Court.

On February 17, 1921, the ordinance complained of was passed, and imposed a tax of ten cents on every hundredweight of sugar manufactured in the municipality. The statutes affecting the power to levy this tax are set out more fully in the principal opinion below. We give only those that immediately determine the result. The Porto Rican Act No. 9 of May 12, 1920, § 49, provides that the municipal revenues shall consist of (d) License taxes provided by Act No. 26, of March 28, 1914, "which is hereby declared to be in force." "(f) Any other impost, excise or tax that may be levied by two thirds of the members of the municipal assembly, provided that the object or matter of taxation is not also the object or matter of any federal or insular tax." The Act of 1914 included in its Group C the business of sugar and molasses mills among those that municipalities were empowered to tax, and proceeded: "The rates of taxation for Group C are made as follows: For each $1,000 or fraction thereof in excess of the first $500 of volume of business transacted, up to $1,000,000 inclusive $0.25 a year," and over that, $0.125. As the Act of 1914 is taken up into that of 1920, it is difficult for us to believe that in one paragraph the latter Act gave power to tax up to a specified maximum and in another a general power limited only by the other principles of taxation. Therefore when in § 49 (f) the later Act allows 'any other impost, excise or tax' we think it must be taken to mean any tax on other objects of taxation not any other tax on those for which a limit already definitely is prescribed.

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The petitioner argues that the Circuit Court of Appeals was mistaken in assuming that the maximum allowed by the Act of 1914 had been reached by a previous tax. The assumption is made however only for the purpose of admitting that an additional tax of the kind warranted by the Act of 1914 might be imposed within the limit of the maximum, and as it is not argued that this tax can be sustained as that which is authorized by the Act of 1914 it does not matter whether the limit under that Act had been reached or not. This is a different tax levied under an interpretation of the clause in the Act of 1920 authorizing other taxes, which in our opinion cannot be sustained. We think it unnecessary to add more to what has been said below.

Decree affirmed.



No. 13, Original. Order entered June 1, 1925, approving the final report of the receiver herein and terminating the receivership.

On consideration of the final report of the receiver, presented a week ago, it is ordered that the accounts, disbursements and transactions of the receiver shown in the report be approved.

And it appearing that all of the property and moneys which came into the possession of the receiver have been disposed of, disbursed and paid out in compliance with the instructions and orders of the Court; that all of the expenses of the receivership have been paid; that the receiver has stored the books of account, records and files of the receivership with the Security Storage Company of Washington, D. C., and has delivered the same as stored to the clerk of the Court, as directed in the order

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of May 11, last; and that the receivership has served its purpose and is now ready to be closed:

It is considered, ordered and decreed that the receivership in this cause be, and it now is, declared at an end; and that the receiver be, and he now is, relieved and discharged from further duty, obligation and responsibility in the premises.

In terminating the receivership the Court expresses its high appreciation of the admirable service of the receiver in satisfactorily managing a large estate in novel and difficult circumstances.



Nos. 122, 123, 124, 125. Argued December 7, 1923.-Decided June 1, 1925.

1. A state statute attempting to tax the transfer of tangible personal property having an actual situs in other States transcends the power of the State so attempting and contravenes the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 488.

2. The power to regulate the transmission, administration and distribution of tangible personal property on the death of the owner rests with the State of its situs, the laws of other States having no bearing save as that State expressly or tacitly adopts them; and then their bearing is attributable to such adoption and not to any force of their own. P. 491.

3. A law of Pennsylvania (Act No. 258, Ls. of 1919, 521) provides that where a person domiciled in the State dies seized and possessed of real or personal property, its transfer by will or intestate laws, whether the property be in that State or elsewhere, shall be taxed at specified percentages of the clear value of the property transferred, such value to be ascertained by deducting debts and expenses of administration from the gross value of the estate, but without making any deduction for taxes paid to the United States or any other State. Held: (1) That the law is not an escheat, but a tax, law. P. 492. (2) That a tax so levied was void in so far as based on transfer of decedent's tangible personal property in New York and Massachusetts, where

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