Motor Vehicle Excise Tax

Applying for a Motor Vehicle Abatement

You are NOT entitled to an abatement if you:
1. Cancel your registration and retain ownership of the vehicle
2. Move to another Massachusetts city or town during the same calendar year.

By law, you must notify the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles within 30 days of any change of residence, mailing or garaging address.

You MAY BE entitled to an abatement if your vehicle is:
1. Sold or traded
2. Stolen or a total loss
3. Junked or donated
4. Returned (Lemon Law)
5. Moved from Northampton
6. Garaged in a city/town other than Northampton.


In order to apply for an abatement you must provide the Northampton Board of Assessors with the following documentation:
1. Sold or traded
    a. Bill of sale or Purchase & Sale showing trade AND
    b. Plate Return Receipt or new registration form if the plate transferred to another vehicle.

2. Stole or total loss
    a. Police report or insurance settlement letter AND
    b. Plate return Receipt or C-19 Form (Affidavit of Lost or Stolen Plate from RMV)

3. Junked or donated
    a. Receipt from junk yard or charity AND
    b. Plate Return Receipt

4. Vehicle is returned (Lemon Law)
    a. Letter from dealer certifying return AND
    b. Plate Return Receipt OR New Registration if plate is transferred.

5. Moved from Northampton
    a. If you moved to another community in Massachusetts after January 1, you still owe excise tax to Northampton
    b. If you moved to another state and registered your vehicle there, you must notify the RMV within 30 days of moving and return your Massachusetts plates to the Registry then submit to Northampton Board of Assessors: Plate Return Receipt AND a copy of the new registration from the other state.

6. Garaged in another Town
If your vehicle is garaged in another city/town, it is the responsibility of the registered owner to promptly notify the RMV of any address changes.

Leased Vehicles: If your vehicle is leased the leasing company, as owner, is responsible for applying for the abatement. Please contact your leasing company regarding any refund, which may be due to you.

As long as your vehicle is still registered in Massachusetts you are still subject to the Massachusetts Excise Tax.

How is my bill computed?
Excise tax on Motor Vehicles principally garaged in Northampton is levied by the City of Northampton and revenues become part of the community treasury.

Excise Tax Bill Computation
Excise tax is assessed at the rate of $25.00 per thousand dollars of taxable value. The value of the motor vehicle is determined by the Commissioner of Revenue, based on the manufacturer's list price (MSRP). Condition and market value are not considered in determining value. Percentages are determined as follows:

In the year prior to model year - 50%
In the year of manufacture (model year) - 90%
Second year - 60%
Third year - 40%
Fourth year - 25%
Fifth year, each year thereafter - 10%