Motor Vehicle Excise

In accordance with MGL Chapter 60A, the Motor Vehicle excise tax is assessed on every motor vehicle and trailer registered, for the privilege of such registration.

The excise is assessed in the city or town where the motor vehicle is principally garaged. The tax is assessed on a calendar year basis and calculated based on the valuation of such vehicle. The valuation of a motor vehicle or trailer for excise purposes is determined by the Commissioner of Revenue at varying percentages of the manufacturer's list price (MSRP) in the year of manufacture as follows:

In the year preceding the designated year of manufacture: 50%
In the year of manufacture: 90%
In the second year: 60%
In the third year: 40%
In the fourth year: 25%
In the fifth and succeeding years: 10%

Condition and market value are not considerations in determining the value, nor is age after the fifth year.

Motor Vehicle Address Changes

All Motor Vehicle excise tax address changes must be made with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. You can contact the Registry either online or in person.

The Assessor's office will also house an address change (PDF) for mailing purposes only, however this will not change any information with the Registry of Motor Vehicles or insurance companies.

Abatement Information

You may be entitled to an abatement of an excise tax bill if you no longer own the vehicle. To receive an abatement two actions must take place; you must transfer title to the vehicle and transfer or cancel the registration to the vehicle. You will need to provide this information to our office either in person or via an application for abatement (PDF). Applications are also available on the back of your original bill.

You are not entitled to an abatement if you cancel your registration and retain ownership of the vehicle.

The Assessors must receive your application for abatement (PDF) within three years after the excise is due, or one year after the excise is paid, whichever is later.

The filing of an application for abatement on Motor Vehicle excise does not stay the collection of your excise tax. To avoid interest, charges, and collection action, you must pay the excise as billed, by the due date.

If an abatement is granted you will be mailed a certificate of abatement displaying the amount by which the original bill was reduced.

If your bill has already been paid, you will receive a refund check for the amount stated in the bottom left corner of the certificate labeled: Abatement.

If your bill has not been paid, please contact the Collector's office at 538-5017 x200 as there can be additional fees and charges that may affect the amount owed.

No abatement or refund of less than $5 may be made. No abatement can reduce the tax to below $5.