Judge issues partial ruling on cigarette tax

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- A federal judge has rejected several arguments made by the Yakama Nation as the tribe seeks to block Washington state from taxing cigarette sales at tribal smoke shops.

The ruling Monday by U.S. District Judge Robert H. Whaley left open two issues still to be resolved in a lawsuit brought by the Yakama tribe and some tribal business owners. The two sides are expected to update the court on their positions by Feb. 4.

Washington state terminated a cigarette tax agreement with the tribe in July 2008, claiming widespread sales of untaxed cigarettes to nontribal members. The Yakamas argue that they should not be required to have a cigarette tax agreement with the state.

Washington state currently has 22 cigarette tax compacts with Indian tribes.