Once the value of the vehicle is determined, an excise at the rate of $25 per thousand is assessed. Excise tax is assessed annually, on a calendar year basis, by the assessors of the city or town in which the vehicle is garaged. If the motor vehicle is registered after January 31, it is taxed for the period extending from the first 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 under Section 1 of Chapter 60A reduce an excise to less than $5.
Chapter 60A of Massachusetts General Laws imposes an excise on the privilege of registering a motor vehicle or a trailer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The excise is levied annually in lieu of a tangible personal property tax. Non-registered vehicles, however, 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 become part of the local community treasury.