Board of Assessors, Motor Vehicle Abatement

Receiving an Abatement

To receive an abatement for Motor Vehicle Excise, a vehicle must be conveyed to another party and the plates either transferred to another vehicle or returned to the registry. Bills of sale or contracts for trade-ins are examples of proofs of conveyance. Registrations for newer vehicles showing the transferred plate number and plate return receipts are proof of location of plates. Bill amounts are prorated by the number of months you owned the vehicle in a calendar year. Bills are payable to the town of residence as of January 1 of the year of issue.

NOTE: You are not entitled to an abatement if you

  1. Cancel your registration and retain ownership of the vehicle, or
  2. Move to another Massachusetts city or town during the calendar year.

No excise may be reduced to less than $5.00. No abatement or refund of less than $5.00 may be made. The Board of Assessors can only abate the amount of the tax not any fees or interest imposed by the Tax Collector.

If you have moved out of state you may provide us with a copy of your registration from your new state and a copy of the plate return receipt from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles.

If you are non-domicilary military resident or exempt by reason of handicap you will need to re-apply annually when you receive your bill.

Abatement applications must be filed with the Board of Assessors within three years after the excise was due, or one year after the excise was paid, whichever is later. To preserve your right to appeal, you must file on time. By law the assessors may only act on late applications in limited circumstances where the excise is still unpaid, and their decision in those cases is final

Filing an application does not stay the collection of your excise bill. To avoid interest charges and non-renewal of drivers license or vehicle registration, you must pay the bill in full with 30 days of its issue date. You will receive a refund if an abatement is granted.

Abatement Application

Please contact this office during office hours for applications, further information or questions.

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