Chapter 60A of Massachusetts General Laws imposes an excise for the privilege of registering a motor vehicle or a trailer on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The excise is levied annually in lieu of a tangible personal property tax. Non-registered vehicles, however, remain subject to the 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.
The Registry of Motor Vehicles prepares data for excise bills according to the information on the motor vehicle registration and sends it to city or town assessors. Cities and towns then prepare bills based on excise data sent by the Registry in compliance with Registry requirements.