The motor vehicle excise is imposed on every motor vehicle and trailer registered in the Commonwealth. This excise is imposed for the privilege of registering a motor vehicle. Registering a motor vehicle automatically triggers the assessment of the excise.
The motor vehicle excise tax is assessed at a rate of 2 1/2% of taxable value ($25.00 per thousand dollar value. This value is set by the Registry of Motor Vehicles and tax bills are prepared by the Registry for issuance by the Town. The original (model year) value is based upon the manufacturer's list price according to the N.A.D.A. Blue Book. It is not based on the actual sales price or current market value. The taxable value is adjusted each year in accordance with the following schedule:
|Year Prior to Model Year||50%|
|Fifth Year and Each Year Thereafter||10%|
Owners of vehicles registered as of January 1st can expect to receive a bill by March or April. A new registration normally produces a bill 2 to 3 months afterwards. The most common source of taxpayer confusion arises when a vehicle is registered late in the calendar year. This generates a tax bill early in the next calendar year, which may be followed soon thereafter by a full year bill for the new calendar year. Each bill identifies the year prominently. Taxpayers should make note of the year of the bill when paying an excise tax.
Vehicles registered for a portion of a calendar year are eligible for prorating based upon whole months. For new registrations, this occurs automatically. For cancelled or changed registrations, it is up to the owner to notify the Board of Assessors. Once issued, a bill cannot be abated below $5.00 unless the registration date as of January 1st was erroneous; e.g., wrong place of garaging or ownership, or plate error.
If you think you are entitled to an adjustment, please pay your bill first then provide the Williamsburg Board of Assessors with the following documentation:
Vehicle is Sold or Traded: Bill of sale/trade in documentation and plate return receipt from the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) or new registration if plate is transferred to another vehicle.
Vehicle is Stolen or Total Loss: Police report or insurance settlement letter and plate return receipt or C-19 Form (Affidavit of Lost or Stolen Plate from RMV).
Vehicle is Junked or Donated: Receipt from junk yard or charity and plate return receipt or C-19 Form or new registration if plate transferred.
Vehicle is Returned (Lemon Law): Letter from dealer certifying return and plate return receipt or new registration if plate is transferred.
Moved from Williamsburg but Still Live in Massachusetts: If you moved prior to January 1st of the bill year furnish proof of change of address from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. If you moved after January 1st of the bill year, pay to Town of Williamsburg and change your address at the Registry for future billing.
Please send information to:
Town of Williamsburg
Board of Assessors
141 Main St., PO Box 447
Haydenville, MA 01039
Please Note: An application for abatement does not stay the collection of the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax. Timely payment within thirty days of the date of issue will avoid all interest and other charges and fees. No abatement shall be granted for less than $5.00 and no bill can be reduced to less than $5.00.
For a motor vehicle excise abatement application, please click here.
The most common reason for a tax bill to be issued for a vehicle no longer on the road is the failure of the owner to return the plates to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, as required. If a vehicle no longer on the road retains the plate registration, the bill may not be abated until it is sold or junked.
The most common reason for a tax bill to be issued to a former place of residence is the failure to notify the Registry of Motor Vehicles of the address change or the new place of garaging.
It is important to note that state law authorizes the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to suspend or revoke the license or registration of an operator or owner of a motor vehicle for failure to report within 30 days any change of name or address.
Questions regarding excise tax billing should be directed as follows:
- For Payments – Collector's Office at (413) 268-8401
- For Abatements – Assessor's Office at (413) 268-8403
For further information, click here to access the Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Excise Frequently Asked Questions.