Chapter 60B of Massachusetts General Law imposes an excise on the privilege of registering a vessel, and its equipment, to utilize the waterways of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The excise is levied annually by a measured value at a rate of ten dollars per thousand of valuation unless expressly exempted. Non-registered vehicles, however, may be subject to taxation as personal property. The excise is levied by the city or town where the vessel resides and the revenues become part of the local community treasury.
Any person who owns such a vessel on July 1 shall annually, on or before August 1, make a return on oath to the assessors of the city or town where such vessel is to be moored or docked, or in the case of a vessel which has no mooring or docking space, where said vessel is principally situated, setting forth the vessel's registration or documentation number, if any; an adequate description, as well as the owner's estimate of the fair cash value of the said vessel and any engine or motor used to propel, said vessel, as of the next preceding July 1, and the place of habitual mooring or docking or other principal location of said vessel. All sums received from the excise imposed under this Chapter are paid into the treasury of the city or town and fifty % of the excise is credited to the municipal waterways improvement and maintenance fund established under the provisions of Section 5G of Chapter 40.