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MA Motor Vehicle Excise Tax - Model 3

shadownddust

Member
Jun 16, 2018
80
46
Lowell, MA
I had to call in since they gave me a valuation on my MS75D of 98.6K. I faxed over the Monroney and the value was reduced (I forget to what exactly). it took my bill down from $1437 to ~$900. The most challenging part was when I was on the phone with the RMV, there was some confusion since they didn't quite get that all Tesla vehicles are sold at sticker price, but we eventually figured it out.

I don't know if they accurately reduced it, but the numbers seemed close enough and along the lines with what I expected, so I went with it.
 
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JWardell

Member
Apr 5, 2016
261
267
Boston
I wonder now that we have the MR car starting at 45,000 the RMV may again adjust valuations.

It should be the same basis for all, provided by the RMV to the city and town tax offices. I think the state auto dealers association is involved with providing the information to RMV for all other makes, but not Teslas of course. Once the RMV gets corrected it should be fine. Maybe I’ll contact someone in Tesla Government Relations and suggest they proactively communicate base prices of all cars in future, to save their customers $ and hassle.

As for your case, I think you’re missing a digit on the valuation. Also what car do you have? I suggest you call the RMV at ‭(857) 368-8080‬ to appeal your valuation and tax.

1st Production RWD.
So is that the process? Call the RMV, then when everything is square with them file an abatement form with my town? And I assume just pay my bill and try to get money back later?
Doesn't sound very hopeful dealing with government entities.
 

shadownddust

Member
Jun 16, 2018
80
46
Lowell, MA
I wonder now that we have the MR car starting at 45,000 the RMV may again adjust valuations.



1st Production RWD.
So is that the process? Call the RMV, then when everything is square with them file an abatement form with my town? And I assume just pay my bill and try to get money back later?
Doesn't sound very hopeful dealing with government entities.

I wasn’t excited about going after the abatement, so I waited until I got the right amount. Ended up taking about a week, which was a day or two after it was due, so the extra fee was small, <$5 I think.
 

Bokonon

Title-customizing Member
Jan 28, 2016
366
602
Newton, MA
Just got my tax bill from the City of Newton. Like PeterK, I have a non-performance AWD Model 3, and it was valued at 50,850, resulting in a tax of $529.69.
 

PeterK

Model X & 3 Owner
Jan 17, 2013
1,713
657
Cambridge, MA
I wasn’t excited about going after the abatement, so I waited until I got the right amount. Ended up taking about a week, which was a day or two after it was due, so the extra fee was small, <$5 I think.

I’ve been waiting for an updated bill from Cambridge, but as I’m nearing the 30-day payment window I’ll give them a call tomorrow and try to sort it out.
 

tga

Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
3,882
2,686
New Hampshire
I’ve been waiting for an updated bill from Cambridge, but as I’m nearing the 30-day payment window I’ll give them a call tomorrow and try to sort it out.
I learned the hard way not to ignore those bills the first time I moved out of MA. The charges add up fast. NH's way makes so much more sense - pay the taxes when you renew, not after. Don't want to pay your taxes? Fine, no registration for you!
 
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PeterK

Model X & 3 Owner
Jan 17, 2013
1,713
657
Cambridge, MA
I’ve been waiting for an updated bill from Cambridge, but as I’m nearing the 30-day payment window I’ll give them a call tomorrow and try to sort it out.

Called this morning, they looked it up and said they'd send me a new bill based on the abatement. Perhaps they were hoping I just wouldn't have noticed, and gone ahead and paid the original bill?

EDIT: I found the adjusted bill in a stack of mail that arrived while I was out of town last week that I hadn't seen. It shows the revised amount of $328.13, which is correct based on a $35,000 valuation @90% for 5 months of the year, but the form still shows the original valuation and excise due, less an abatement of $201.56. I hope the standard valuation for all of MA is now $35,000 going forward, but who knows?
 
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atownev

Member
Oct 4, 2018
6
3
02472
I learned the hard way not to ignore those bills the first time I moved out of MA. The charges add up fast. NH's way makes so much more sense - pay the taxes when you renew, not after. Don't want to pay your taxes? Fine, no registration for you!

That is exactly how the *sales* tax is collected. In MA the *excise* (property) tax is collected by the town.
 

tga

Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
3,882
2,686
New Hampshire
That is exactly how the *sales* tax is collected. In MA the *excise* (property) tax is collected by the town.
I'm talking about what is (essentially) the NH town's excise/property tax. Every year, you go to town hall and pay the town fees (excise tax) as part of the renewal process (or mail in a check). You don't get your new registration and stickers until you pay your excise tax first, so no need for the infrastructure to collect the excise tax after the fact.

Most towns are "registration agents" for the state, and can collect the state fees, process new and renewal registrations, title applications, and issue license plates and stickers as well. The only time we ever need to go to the DMV is for every other license renewal (every 10 years).
 

JWardell

Member
Apr 5, 2016
261
267
Boston
I finally called the RMV today, quickly got a surprisingly nice person on the phone, who definitely confirmed I should be taxed on the base price on the window sticker. She asked me to fax over the window sticker and would call me back when received. So I tried to use an online service to do so (who has faxes anymore? The state of course), but have no idea if it went through.

@shadownddust or anyone can you confirm the RMV fax number 857-368-0812 is correct? Of course even Google can't manage to find it anywhere. This is why faxes are terrible.

Thanks again to everyone for your help. Looks like the state will be fleecing people hundreds each year for the mistake.
 

mociaf9

Active Member
Oct 18, 2018
2,554
5,182
CA
So I tried to use an online service to do so (who has faxes anymore? The state of course), but have no idea if it went through.

shadownddust or anyone can you confirm the RMV fax number 857-368-0812 is correct? Of course even Google can't manage to find it anywhere. This is why faxes are terrible.

Yeah, but it's how I know that the government is still safe from a takeover by Skynet. So at least we get some peace of mind in exchange for the added hassle.
 

PeterK

Model X & 3 Owner
Jan 17, 2013
1,713
657
Cambridge, MA
I finally called the RMV today, quickly got a surprisingly nice person on the phone, who definitely confirmed I should be taxed on the base price on the window sticker. She asked me to fax over the window sticker and would call me back when received. So I tried to use an online service to do so (who has faxes anymore? The state of course), but have no idea if it went through.

@shadownddust or anyone can you confirm the RMV fax number 857-368-0812 is correct? Of course even Google can't manage to find it anywhere. This is why faxes are terrible.

Thanks again to everyone for your help. Looks like the state will be fleecing people hundreds each year for the mistake.

Yes that's the fax number they gave me. My printer/fax failed to send a few times, but eventually it made it. As I rarely fax these days, not sure whether the issue was on my or their end.
 

JWardell

Member
Apr 5, 2016
261
267
Boston
I just got a call back from the RMV. They said the sticker does not use the words MSRP so it can't be used. Well neither does my purchase agreement or any other document. It's a window sticker, that is the function of a window sticker!
Anyway, she said she can go by the $44,000 MSRP she has "on her screen." Ooookay.... where did that come from? Why isn't that being used for valuation?
They will be sending a letter both to my town and to me stating this. I have another week or so before it's due so I'm hoping I get it in time then march into the town hall and have a chat. I'll continue to report my progress.
 

PeterK

Model X & 3 Owner
Jan 17, 2013
1,713
657
Cambridge, MA
It doesn’t use the words MSRP, because there’s no “suggested” involved. It IS the retail price. If you look at the photo of the sticker in my starting post, it says “Model 3 $35,000”. How much clearer does it need to be?
 

JWardell

Member
Apr 5, 2016
261
267
Boston
It doesn’t use the words MSRP, because there’s no “suggested” involved. It IS the retail price. If you look at the photo of the sticker in my starting post, it says “Model 3 $35,000”. How much clearer does it need to be?

That's exactly what I said to them. Do window stickers say anything other than MSRP? I was very confused.
But this is really a major issue for everyone in the state, and I think the RMV deserves to get flooded with calls till they fix it.
 

PeterK

Model X & 3 Owner
Jan 17, 2013
1,713
657
Cambridge, MA
I sent an email to two managers I know at Tesla describing the situation and pointing to this thread, and asked them to forward to someone in regional management or government affairs as appropriate. Hope it helps.
 
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Bokonon

Title-customizing Member
Jan 28, 2016
366
602
Newton, MA
I sent an email to two managers I know at Tesla describing the situation and pointing to this thread, and asked them to forward to someone in regional management or government affairs as appropriate. Hope it helps.

Thanks, Peter!

Hoping to get my own bill worked out with Newton next week.
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,421
7,555
Maine
I'm talking about what is (essentially) the NH town's excise/property tax. Every year, you go to town hall and pay the town fees (excise tax) as part of the renewal process (or mail in a check). You don't get your new registration and stickers until you pay your excise tax first, so no need for the infrastructure to collect the excise tax after the fact.

Most towns are "registration agents" for the state, and can collect the state fees, process new and renewal registrations, title applications, and issue license plates and stickers as well. The only time we ever need to go to the DMV is for every other license renewal (every 10 years).

Works the same way in Maine. The town gets a $3 Agent Fee. ($2 + $1 to the company that operates InforME if you renew online).
If you want to save the $3 (or just hate your town), you can just pay the excise tax at your town office and then renew at a BMV branch.
(BMV for license renewal is 5 years here, maybe. I honestly can't remember.)
 
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ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,421
7,555
Maine
I just got a call back from the RMV. They said the sticker does not use the words MSRP so it can't be used. Well neither does my purchase agreement or any other document. It's a window sticker, that is the function of a window sticker!
Anyway, she said she can go by the $44,000 MSRP she has "on her screen." Ooookay.... where did that come from? Why isn't that being used for valuation?
They will be sending a letter both to my town and to me stating this. I have another week or so before it's due so I'm hoping I get it in time then march into the town hall and have a chat. I'll continue to report my progress.

Maybe from a VIN database like Polk VINtelligence.
The database has a record for VIN patterns with a bunch of information about that particular model of car, and includes the MSRP of the base model that matches the VIN.
So if she was saying $44k it could be because that's the listed MSRP for the record matching your VIN. That would make sense since it's the MSRP for the non-existent LR RWD with the Unpremium Downgrade Package.
 

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