Motor Vehicle Excise Tax

There is a Motor Vehicle Tax for all motor vehicles that are registered.

Valuation
The valuation for Motor Vehicle Excise tax purposed is based on a percentage of the manufacturer’s suggested factory list price:
  • In the year prior to the year of manufacture (i.e.: a 2015 car registered in 2014), the valuation would be 50% of the factory list price.
  • In its 1st year (a 2015 car for the year of 2015) the valuation would be 90% of the factory list price.
  • In the 2nd year (a 2015 car for the year of 2016) the valuation would be 60% of the factory list price.
  • In the 3rd year (a 2015 car for the year of 2017) the valuation would be 40% of the factory list price.
  • In the 4th year (a 2015 car for the year of 2018) the valuation would be 25% of the factory list price.
  • In the 5th year (a 2015 car registered for the year of 2019) the valuation would be 10% of the factory list price.
  • All vehicles remain at 10% after the 5th year.
Tax Rate
The tax rate for Motor Vehicle Excise Tax is $25 per thousand of value. This is calculated from the date of registration to the end of the calendar year. It is prorated by the month, so whether a vehicle is registered at the beginning or end of the month, the billing starts with that full month.

Once registered, a bill is created by the Registry of Motor Vehicles and sent to the community where the vehicle is garaged for billing. If the vehicle is registered in Massachusetts, but garaged outside of Massachusetts, the bill will be issued by the Department of Revenue.

Tax Bill
The bill is due in 30 days after receipt. The due date is also posted on your bill.

After 30 days a 2nd notice is sent with interest and a $5 demand fee.

After 14 days, if the bill is still unpaid, the bill will go on warrant which will add warrant fees and deputy fees.

If the bill continues to go unpaid, notice will be sent to the Registry of Motor Vehicles to mark the person’s license and registration for nonrenewal. After that, in order for a person to renew their license and/or registration or register a vehicle, all taxes and fees must be paid in addition to the fee for the release of the lien which indicates all monies due have been paid.

On occasion a person will move out of state and feel that they can ignore the bill. However, when they try to register a vehicle or get a license to drive in that other state, the other state’s registry of Motor Vehicles will check records and if there is any indication that the person owes monies for taxes, anywhere, they will have to pay what is owed before the new state will issue a license or registration. This reciprocal agreement includes parking tickets.

Abatement & Exemption Deadlines
All applications for abatements or exemptions must be filed with the board of assessors within 3 years after the date the excise was due, or 1 year after the excise was paid, whichever is later. If the taxpayer’s application is denied, there can be an appeal to the appellate tax board.