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City of Cambridge

Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Abatement

Assessing

An abatement is a reduction in the tax assessed on your property for the fiscal year. To dispute your valuation or assessment or to correct any other billing problem or error that caused your tax bill to be higher than it should be, you must apply for an abatement.

If an owner of a motor vehicle thinks that he/she is entitled to an adjustment of his/her excise bill, it is strongly recommended that s/he pay the bill in full, then contact the local Board of Assessors for an application for abatement. Although payment of a bill is not a precondition for an abatement, an owner risks incurring late fees and penalties if an abatement is not granted. Abatements can be handled through the mail or email; however, the bill should be paid as assessed and a refund will follow if the abatement is granted. Find more information on the Secretary of the Commonwealth's website.


Tips and FAQs

When do I file for Motor Vehicle abatement?

Abatement applications must be received by the Assessors within three years after the excise bill was due, or one year after it was paid, whichever was later.

What is the criteria for Motor vehicle abatement and what support material is needed?

  • Vehicle was Sold, Traded, or Junked: Bill of sale AND either a plate return receipt or new registration if plates were transferred.
  • Vehicle Stolen, or Total Loss: Insurance Company Settlement letter and C-19 form (Affidavit of Lost/Stolen plate from Registry of Motor Vehicles).
  • Moved to another city or town in MA prior to January 1 of the taxing year: Proof of residence as of Jan. 1. i.e. Coverage Selection Page from insurance company
  • Moved to another state or country: Dated copy of original registration from the new state or country and either a plate return receipt or a C-19 form from the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

How is the Motor Excise Tax Abatement figured?

Abatement are pro-rated monthly. The minimum tax is $5. Therefore, an abatement amount of less than $5 cannot be granted.

Last Updated: 3/5/2017 | Provide feedback on this page

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