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When you register your motor vehicle or trailer, you have to pay a motor vehicle and trailer excise. Get the ins and outs on paying the motor vehicle excise tax to your local city or town hall.
If you own a registered motor vehicle, you have to pay a tax, called a motor vehicle and trailer excise, each year. When you get your motor vehicle excise bill, you will also get instructions on how to pay it.
Every motor vehicle and trailer registered in Massachusetts is subject to the motor vehicle excise unless exempted.
“Motor vehicles” are defined 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,” excluding:
The excise rate is $25 per $1,000 of your vehicle's value. It is charged for a full calendar year and billed by the community where the vehicle is usually garaged. If your vehicle is registered in Massachusetts but garaged outside of Massachusetts, the Commissioner of Revenue will bill the excise.
If you own any motor vehicle that has been registered for less than a full calendar year, you will pay the excise based on the entire month when you registered that vehicle, as well as for the remaining months of the year. For example, a vehicle registered on April 9th will be billed an excise for April through December.
The minimum motor vehicle excise is $5. If your calculated excise is less than $5, you will be taxed $5.
Your vehicle's value for excise purposes isn't the actual purchase price or "book value" of the vehicle. Instead, it's a percentage of the manufacturer's list price in the year of manufacture. The manufacturer’s list price for any vehicle is the price the manufacturer recommends as the selling price of that vehicle when new.
An exemption may be granted if the motor vehicle is owned and registered by any of the following:
You can use the abatement application form to apply for an exemption. You must file it with the assessors within 3 years after the date the excise was due, or 1 year after the excise was paid, whichever is later.
You can reduce the excise you have to pay by filing an abatement application, and may receive an abatement for any of the following reasons:
You must file applications for abatement with the local 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 your application is denied, you can appeal to the Appellate Tax Board (ATB).
You must pay the excise within 30 days of receiving the bill. Any unpaid bill accrues interest at a rate of 12% per year, from the 31st day to the payment date.
The penalties process includes the following steps: