Motor Vehicle Excise Tax

Calculating Excise Bills
The amount of the motor vehicle excise due on a particular vehicle in any year is calculated by multiplying the value of the vehicle by the motor vehicle excise tax rate of $25 per thousand. The value of a vehicle for the purpose of the excise is the applicable percentage for that year of the MSRP for that vehicle. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for a vehicle is the price recommended by the manufacturer as the selling price of that vehicle when new. It is the manufacturer’s list price, rather than the actual purchase price, which will control for purposes of calculating the motor vehicle excise.

The applicable percentages are set out as follows:
  • In the year preceding the year of manufacture - 50%
  • In the year of manufacture - 90%
  • In the 2nd year - 60%
  • In the 3rd year - 40%
  • In the 4th year - 25%
  • In the 5th and succeeding years - 10%
Motor Vehicle Exemptions
A person need not have a handicap plate to be eligible for an exemption. Having a handicap license plate does not automatically assure the granting of a motor vehicle exemption. An exemption is available to a person who has suffered either (a) an actual loss of or a permanent and complete loss of use of both legs or both arms or (b) a permanent vision impairment of both eyes of the magnitude set out in Chapter 60A Section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws. The Board of Assessors requires an applicant for this exemption to provide a certification by a physician of the existence of the loss.

This exemption is restricted for each handicapped person to 1 vehicle at a time, owned and registered by the person for personal use. A person who owns more than 1 vehicle has the right to choose the vehicle upon which to obtain an exemption. A handicapped person who owns a vehicle jointly with some other person satisfies the ownership requisite for a full exemption.