Every motor vehicle and trailer registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is subject to the motor vehicle excise unless expressly exempted. Registering a motor vehicle automatically triggers the assessment of excise, which is calculated at a rate of $25.00 per $1,000.00 of value. The Registry of Motor Vehicles is responsible for this valuation. Motor Vehicle Excise Tax is assessed from the first day of the month in which it is registered for the balance of the year and on January 1 of each year thereafter. Vehicles registered during the year are issued a pro-rated excise tax bill for that year.
All of the information on your motor vehicle tax bill comes from the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) to the town. The vehicle owner must contact the insurance company and the Registry of Motor Vehicles to make address and other changes on a motor vehicle excise bill. Failure to receive a bill does not affect the validity of the tax or penalties.
Please see the Board of Assessors' page for information on vehicle valuation and the excise tax rate.
The Town mails motor vehicle excise bills to registered owners once a year or after a change in registration. Payments are due 30 days from the date of issue of the bill. After 30 days, a demand notice will be mailed adding a $5.00 fee plus interest. If an excise bill remains unpaid for 14 days after the issuance of the demand, the tax collector may issue a warrant to a Deputy Collector, which will add collection fees and could end with a mark at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. This mark at the RMV will prevent the registered owner from renewing a driver’s license or registering another vehicle.
If your bill is given to the Deputy Collector for collection, you may call the Tax Collectors Office at 978-422-8111 ext. 2310 or the Deputy’s Office at 1-800-239-2155 to obtain outstanding amounts due. You may pay this amount at Tax Collector’s Office with either cash or a bank check if the bill is marked at the Registry. Once a bill is marked at the Registry, we will not release it unless ALL outstanding excise bills due the city are paid in full.
Excise tax bills are calculated from the date of registration to the end of the calendar year. If you have sold a vehicle, transferred plates, are handicapped, move out of state, or question a valuation, you may be entitled to an abatement to your bill. The Assessor is the only person authorized to abate excise tax amounts.
File for abatements or corrections early, as the filing of an application does not stay the collection of the tax. You must pay your tax in full if the abatement or correction is not resolved by the due date. You may also be subject to additional late fees and interest. Please contact the Assessors’ Office if you have any questions about abatement to your excise tax bill.
For more information on abatements, please see the Board of Assessors' information.