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Motor Vehicle Excise Tax

What is Excise and Who Gets it?

Excise tax on motor vehicles is an annual tax for the privilege of registration. Every motor vehicle and trailer registered in Massachusetts is subject to excise tax unless expressly exempted. Registering a motor vehicle automatically triggers an excise tax. The city or town where the vehicle is principally garaged levies the excise annually. The Registry of Motor Vehicles prepares data for excise bills according to the information on the motor vehicle registration and sends it to the City or Town. Cities and Towns then prepare bills based on the excise data provided by the Registry of Motor vehicles. Anyone with Massachusetts plates registered in their name gets a bill every year for as long as the plates are active in the RMV’s system.


How Much is it?

The excise tax rate is $25.00 per thousand. This is the standard for the entire Commonwealth. The valuation is based on the rates set by the state and are assessed according to the manufacturer’s list price. This taxable value is adjusted each year according to the following schedule:


  • Year prior to model year:  50% of the manufacturer’s list price
  • Model year:  90%
  • Second-year:  60%
  • Third-year:  40%
  • Fourth-year:  25%
  • Fifth-year and each year thereafter:  10%
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