Residents who own and register a motor vehicle must annually pay a motor vehicle excise. 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.
Payment of the motor vehicle excise is due 30 days from the date the excise bill is issued (not mailed). A person who does not receive a bill is still liable for the excise plus any interest charges accrued. Therefore, it is important to keep the Registry, Assessors, and the post office informed of current name and address changes so that excise bills can be delivered promptly. It is the responsibility of the owner to contact the Assessors if he/she has not received a bill.
Penalties for Nonpayment
If an excise is not paid within 30 days from the issue date, the tax collector will send a demand, with a fee of $10. In addition, interest will accrue on the overdue bill at an annual rate of 12% from the day after the due date.
If the demand is not answered within 14 days, the Collector may issue a warrant to the Deputy Tax Collector or an appointed agent, which carries another $22 fee. If there is still no response, a final warrant, or service warrant, will be delivered or exhibited to the taxpayer at his/her residence or workplace at a fee of $17. All interest and penalties will be clearly stated on the bill.
If an owner of a motor vehicle thinks that he/she is entitled to an adjustment of his/her excise bill, it is strongly recommended that he/she pay the bill in full, then contact the Assessors Office for an application for abatement. Although payment of a bill is not a pre-condition for an abatement, an owner risks incurring late fees and penalties if an abatement is not granted.
Applications for abatement must be received by the Assessors by December 31 of the year following the year of the tax. If the bill is mailed after December 1 of the year following the tax year, application must be made on or before the 30th day from the date of issue or the date of mailing, whichever is later.