February 21, 1985

You request a ruling as to the application of the sales or use tax to the sale of five drill riggers by __________ ("Company"). The Company is a foundation construction business not regularly engaged in the business of making retail sales and therefore its sale of five drill riggers is a "casual" sale for purposes of this ruling.

General Laws Chapter 64H, Section 2 imposes an excise on sales at retail of tangible personal property in Massachusetts by a vendor. A "sale at retail" is a sale of tangible personal property for any purpose other than resale in the regular course of business. (G.L. c. 64H, § 1(13)). Chapter 64I, Section 2 imposes an excise on the storage, use or other consumption in Massachusetts of tangible personal property purchased for storage, use or other consumption in Massachusetts.

Chapter 64H, Section 6(c) of the Massachusetts General Laws exempts from the sales tax

[c]asual and isolated sales by a vendor who is not regularly engaged in the business of making sales at retail; provided, however, that nothing contained in this paragraph shall be construed to exempt any such sale of a motor vehicle or trailer as defined in section one of chapter ninety, or any such sale of a boat or airplane, from the tax imposed under chapter sixty-four I. (Emphasis supplied)

Chapter 64I, Section 7(b) provides that purchaser of any motor vehicle as defined in Chapter 90, Section 1 shall pay the use tax.

Chapter 90, Section 1 defines a motor vehicle as "all vehicles constructed and designed for propulsion by power other than muscular power including such vehicles when pulled or towed by another motor vehicle…." Certain vehicles are excepted from this definition. Drill riggers are vehicles constructed and designed for propulsion by power other than muscular power and do not fall within any of the exceptions to the definition provided in Chapter 90, Section 1.

The definition of motor vehicle for the purpose of collection of tax under Chapter 64H, Section 3(c) and trade-in allowance under Section 26 differs from the definition of motor vehicle used for the purpose of determining the casual sale exemption.


Motor vehicle is defined in Section 3(c) and Section 26 of Chapter 64H as any self-propelled vehicle designed for use and used primarily upon the highways.

Section 3(c) limits the definition of motor vehicle provided therein "[f]or the purpose of this paragraph…." Section 26 limits the definition provided "[f]or the purpose of this section…." The definition of motor vehicle provided in the Sales and Use Tax Regulation 64H.02 on motor vehicles merely restates and explains the definition provided in Section 3(c) and Section 26. The definition of motor vehicle provided in 64H.02 does not affect the definition of motor vehicle provided in Chapter 64H, Section 6(c) for the casual sale, sales tax exemption.

Therefore, drill riggers are motor vehicles within the definition of Chapter 64H, Section 6(c). The casual sale of drill riggers by __________ a company not regularly engaged in the business of making retail sales of drill riggers is subject to the Massachusetts use tax.

Very truly yours,

/s/Ira A. Jackson

Ira A. Jackson

Commissioner of Revenue

IAJ:SFR:loc

LR 85-37