Assessors possess jurisdiction to abate a motor vehicle excise only if an application for abatement is timely filed. To be timely filed, an application must be received by the assessors within three years after the excise was due, or one year after the excise was paid, whichever is later. Once registered in the year, a bill can be abated only if the vehicle is sold, traded, junked, totaled or otherwise disposed of, and the plates transferred to another vehicle or canceled. If the vehicle is disposed of and the plates not transferred or canceled, no abatement can be issued; or if the plates have been canceled or transferred and the original vehicle is not disposed of, no abatement can be issued. The minimum motor vehicle abatement which may be made is $5.00. If a registrant otherwise qualifies for an abatement but the amount of that abatement is less than $5.00, no abatement may be made. Also the bill can not be abated to less than $5.00.
Other reasons for abatement are: if the vehicle is reregistered in another state and the Massachusetts plates returned; if the vehicle is overvalued; if there is a subsequent registration (the same vehicle registered by the same person more than once in the same year); incorrect place of garaging. There is no abatement for moving from one community to another within the state of Massachusetts. The bill is due to the community where the vehicle was originally registered in the year.
The filing of an application does not stay the collection of your excise tax. It should be paid as assessed. Refund will follow if abatement is allowed. Any questions or for further information, you can contact the Assessors Office at 978-526-2010.