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Motor Vehicles Excise Taxes

The Town of Windsor requires that an "Excise Tax" be paid for motor vehicles that are owned by town residents.

This Motor Vehicle Excise Tax is assessed on a calendar year basis (January-December). The valuation of the vehicle is determined by the Department of Motor Vehicles using the manufacturer’s recommended retail price when new multiplied by the applicable percentage:

  • In the year preceding the year of manufacture: 50%

  • In the year of manufacture: 90%

  • In the second year: 60%

  • In the third year: 40%

  • In the fourth year: 25%

  • In the fifth and succeeding years: 10%

Excise tax rate is $25.00 per thousand of valuation. Excise taxes are prorated on a monthly basis. The annual excise due on a vehicle registered after January 1 will be reduced by one-twelfth of the full year’s excise for every month prior to the month in which the vehicle was registered. The minimum an excise bill may be is $5.00.

Abatements are available if during a calendar year ownership of a motor vehicle is transferred by sale or otherwise and the registration is cancelled or transferred to another vehicle. Both actions are necessary to qualify for an abatement. Abatements may be requested up three years following the year to which the excise relates.

Proof of ownership transfer and registration cancellation or transfer will be requested. The minimum an abatement may be is $5.00.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax

Why am I still getting an excise tax bill when I no longer have that car?

You must always either transfer or cancel your plates when you no longer have a vehicle. For as long as your plate is active, you will receive an excise tax bill.

REMEMBER: It is important that the bill for a vehicle you no longer own is NOT IGNORED. Interest and fees may accumulate and result in non-renewal of license and/or registration.

When am I entitled to an excise tax abatement?

You are entitled to an abatement on your excise tax when you DISPOSE OF THE VEHICLE and either CANCEL or TRANSFER YOUR PLATES to a new vehicle. The Assessors’ office requires that you present the proper documentation along with an Application for Abatement for an abatement to be granted. If the plate is lost, you must file for a lost plate receipt with the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Who is entitled to an excise tax exemption?

Chapter 60A, Section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws provide excise tax exemptions for vehicles owned by certain disabled individuals and veterans, ex-prisoners of war and their surviving spouses and certain charitable organizations. Please contact our office for further details on eligibility.

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