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It is an annual tax for the privilege of registration. Anyone who registers a vehicle with the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) will be billed based on the information supplied to the RMV on the registrant's application. Chapter 60A of the Mass. General laws imposes an excise on the privilege of registering a motor vehicle or a trailer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Non-registered vehicles remain subject to taxation as personal property. The excise is levied by the city or town where the vehicle is principally garaged and the revenues becomes part of the local community treasury. The RMV prepares data for excise bills according to the information on the motor vehicle registration and sends it to the Town Assessors. Bills are then prepared based on the excise data sent by the RMV.
Anyone with Massachusetts’ license plates.
The rate is $25 per thousand of the valuation. This is the standard rate for the entire Commonwealth.
Based on valuation rates set by the state, vehicles are valued as follows:
Excise taxes are assessed annually on a calendar year basis by the Assessors of the town in which the vehicle is garaged as of January 1. If the motor vehicle is registered after January 31st, it is taxed for the period extending from the 1st day of the month in which it is registered to the end of the calendar year. For example, if a vehicle is registered on April 30, it will be taxable as of April 1, for the nine months of the year (April through December) and the excise due therefore, will be 9/12 of the full excise. In no event shall the excise be assessed for less than $5 nor shall an abatement or refund reduce an excise to less than $5.
You may qualify for an abatement when:
Abatements are pro-rated monthly by the Assessor's' Office. The abatement is calculated from the registration cancellation date to December 31st of the tax year.
Chapter 6GA, Section 1 of the Mass. General laws provides excise tax exemptions for vehicles owned by certain disabled individuals (blind, handicapped) and disabled veterans, ex-prisoners of war and their surviving spouses and certain charitable organizations. For ex-prisoners of war and their unmarried surviving spouses, the law allowing the exemption for the motor vehicle excise must be accepted by the city or town to be applicable.
You must file by December 31st of the following year. If your tax bill is issued after December 1st of the following year, you have thirty days from the date of issue of your bill to file an application. You must file all abatement applications through the Assessors Office 508-485-0710, ext. 3017).
Payment of excise is due within 30 days from the date the excise bill is issued. A person who does not receive a bill is still liable for the excise plus any interest and charges accrued. It is important to keep the Registry, the Town of Southborough, and the post office informed of a current name and address so that excise bills can be delivered promptly. All owners of motor vehicles must pay an excise tax. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the owner to contact the Treasurer's Office if you have not received a bill.
If an excise tax is not paid within 30 days from the issue date, the local collector sends a demand. The charge for the demand is $20. Interest accrues on the overdue bill from the day after the due date until the date of payment at a rate of 12%. If the demand is not answered within 14 days, the collector may issue a warrant to the deputy tax collector or an appointed agent. The warrant notice sent by the deputy collector to the taxpayer costs $22. If this notice is not answered than a final warrant, a service warrant, will be delivered or exhibited to the taxpayer at his/her residence at a fee of $17.
If the service warrant demanding final payment is ignored, the Deputy Collector may then notify the RMV of such non-payment, including all interest and fees. The Registry may then mark the individual's registration preventing the renewal of the vehicle registration and the owner's driver's license until such time any outstanding accounts are paid. Final payment will include a $20 release fee as final settlement of the excise. Upon payment the deputy collector will notify the Registry that the registration and/or license are now able to be renewed. It is strongly recommended to retain all receipts of excise bills paid.
If a motor vehicle owner moves within Massachusetts and has not paid an excise tax for the current year, they should notify the Assessor's Office at 508-485-0710, ext. 3017 of their new address. If the owner moved before the 1st of the year, they must pay the tax to the new community to which the owner moved. If the owner of a vehicle has moved to another state, notify the Assessor's Office and provide them with a copy of the registration form from the new state or the plate return receipt.
If an excise bill is received for a vehicle or trailer which has been sold, the seller must return the plate(s) to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, get a plate return receipt, and file an application for abatement together with the return plate receipt or new registration form and the bill of sale with the Assessor's Office. Note: It is important to remember that the bill for a vehicle you no longer own should not be ignored.
If an excise bill is received for a vehicle that was traded, and which was not owned in the calendar year stated on the bill, it is recommended to pay the bill and file an application for abatement with the Assessor's Office.
If the vehicle is stolen and not recovered within 30 days, the owner will be entitled to an abatement if they report the theft of the vehicle to the local police within 48 hours of discovery of the theft. After 30 days, the owner must surrender the certificate of registration and obtain a certificate from the RMV indicating that they have done so. The Assessor must also be notified and provided with the police report and a C-19 form (Affidavit of Lost or Stolen plate). The Assessor will then adjust the bill and grant an abatement for the remaining portion of the year.