Motor Vehicle Excise Tax

Motor Vehicle Excise Abatement Application

What is Motor Vehicle Excise?
Chapter 60A of Mass. General Laws imposes an excise tax for the privilege of registering a motor vehicle or trailer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The excise is levied annually by the city or town where the vehicle is principally garaged on January 1 each year and is consider a local receipt.
How is the Motor Vehicle Valuation Determined?
The Registry of Motor Vehicles prepares the information for the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax.  The value is based upon the MSRP or List Price of the vehicle using the following formula:

  • In the year preceding the designated year of manufacture (new car released before the model year) 50%
  • In the designated year of manufacture 90%
  • In the second year 60%
  • In the third year 40%
  • In the fourth year 25%
  • In the fifth and all succeeding years 10%

How is the Excise Tax calculated?
The tax rate for excise tax in Massachusetts is $25.00 per $1,000 of valuation.  This is the same regardless of the municipality you may live in.

The tax  is prorated monthly,  so if you register a motor vehicle after January 31, it is taxed for the period  of time extending from the first day of the month in which it is registered to the end of the calendar year.     

Can I get a Tax Abatement on a Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Bill?
You can file for abatement if:

  • An an owner believes the assessment is incorrect
  • The vehicle was traded
  • The vehicle was stolen, junked, declared a total loss, repossessed or returned to the dealer (Lemon Law)
  • The vehicle was sold during the year in which it is being taxed and the registration was properly canceled
  • The owner moved from the taxing authority to another city or town before January 1
  • The owner moved to another State and registered the vehicle and canceled the registration in Massachusetts

Please remember if the registration is canceled, it is very important that you return the plates to the RMV and to obtain a Plate Return Receipt.

What paperwork do I need to provide to obtain an Abatement?
Click here for details

Please remember that the bill for the vehicle you no longer own should not be ignored.  As with any unpaid excise tax bill, an owner risks incurring late fees and penalties if an abatement is not granted. 

If the bill is not overdue and remains unpaid you may apply for abatement before the due date.  

Where can I get more information about Motor Vehicle Excise?
By clicking on the link above or by visiting the Registry of Motor Vehicles website also located above with a hyperlink.