By Massachusetts law, every vehicle in the state is subject to an annual excise tax. While individual communities bill and collect these excise taxes, it is the Registry of Motor Vehicles which is responsible for determining which community will bill the vehicle owner. The billing community is determined by the “Place of Garaging” that the owner has listed on the automobile insurance form.
Excise bills are due and payable within 30 days of issue. Demand bills will be sent on all excise bills not paid within the 30 day period. The Demand bill will add a flat $15 charge to each bill, plus interest at a rate of 12% per annum from the due date to the date of payment.
If the Motor Vehicle Excise bill is not paid within 14 days of the issuance of the Demand bill, this office sends the unpaid bill to the Deputy Collector for further action.
The Deputy Collector will first mail a Notice of Warrant to the delinquent taxpayer. This notice will add an additional $22 to each bill, and the interest continues to accrue at 12% per annum.
If not paid within 30 days of the Notice of Warrant, the Deputy Collector will then issue a Service of Warrant, adding yet another $17 charge to the bill Services of Warrant are hand delivered to the last known address of the vehicle owners. Again, interest continues to accrue at 12% per annum.
If the excise continues unpaid after Service of Warrant, the owner and vehicle will be “marked “ at the Registry for non-renewal of both car registration and driver’s license. At this point the Registry adds an additional $20 to each bill. Individuals whose bills are marked may not renew their license or register any vehicle until the delinquent bill has been paid.
If a taxpayer receives an excise bill that they believe is incorrect, they must contact the Assessors’ Office for information on an abatement. If the bill is abated in full, all fees and interest are forgiven. However, if there is only a partial abatement given, the balance of the excise, accrued interest and fees must be paid.
Partial payments of motor vehicle excise bills are not accepted. Since the law states that interest and charges, as they accrue, become a part of the bill, payment of delinquent bills will be accepted only if all fees and charges are included in the payment.