All motor vehicles registered in Massachusetts are subject to an annual excise tax, Mass. General Law Chapter 60A. The excise tax is levied by the town in which the vehicle is garaged. Information for the excise tax is issued to the town by the Registry of Motor Vehicles. It is the taxpayer’s responsibility to make certain the Registry of Motor Vehicles records are accurate. The tax is levied at the rate of $25.00 per thousand dollars of value, based on a percentage of the original manufacturer’s list price as follows:
Payment of the excise is due 30 days after the date of issue (not the date mailed or received). If the tax is not paid within those 30 days, a Demand will be issued including an additional fee of $5.00 plus interest on the unpaid tax at a rate of 12% daily from the due date. If the tax remains unpaid, additional fees and interest will be added to the original excise tax amount. Unpaid excise will cause the Deputy Collectors Office to mark the registration and applicable license at the Registry of Motor Vehicles which in turn will refuse to renew the driver’s license and/or motor vehicle registration. At this time, the law does not provide any special considerations for financial hardships; there are however, a few qualifying exemptions. See the Department of Revenue's Frequently Asked Questions page for additional information.
If your vehicle is sold, traded, stolen, totaled or moved out of state, you may be entitled to an abatement of all or a portion of that motor vehicle’s excise. The excise will be prorated to the month the registration was cancelled or transferred. Application for abatement must be made through the Assessors’ office. Please include a copy of your Plate Return Receipt, Lost Plate Receipt or the Registration of the vehicle that the license plate was transferred to and documentation indicating what was done with the vehicle i.e. name and address of the person or dealership the vehicle was sold or traded to, proof from insurance company of theft or total loss or out of state registration (indicating the vehicle being moved out of state).
The abatement application and supporting documentation must be received by the Assessors’ Office within three (3) years of the due date of the original bill or one (1) year after the excise was paid, which ever is later. To preserve the right to an abatement and/or appeal the application must be filed timely. The Board of Assessors has up to three (3) months from the date the application is received at the Assessors’ office to respond to the application for abatement.
For additional information regarding excise tax please see the Excise Information page maintained by the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Office.
Questions please call or email the Assessors’ Office at (413) 863-3200 Ext. 204, firstname.lastname@example.org