Model 3 Excise tax in MA

Model 3 Excise tax in MA

I have read the valuation is supposed to be for the base model. Does anyone know if this is accurate?

I have a Long Range, AWD with FSD. The RMV's valuation is supposed to be 90% of...? What valuations have you received?

Thanks for the help!

kevin_rf | 03. april 2019

My 2019 MA excise was $840 .... whimper. (LR AWD RED 18" EAP FSD)

That reminds me, it's due this week...

hcdavis3 | 03. april 2019

Oh joy. I don’t want to look at the mailbox for fear of seeing the bill.

mfrey | 03. april 2019

I too am in MA and can not believe that we get taxed multiple times for a purchase. We already paid sales tax, but then get taxed over and over again. I find it criminal.

kevin_rf | 03. april 2019

You could live in NY and pay even higher taxes. I won't say what my wife said to me when the excise bill came in. I might get me banned...

mymoneyjenny | 04. april 2019

$840 isn't bad! Compared to the $1100+ they are charging me :'(

They are basing it on an assumed value of $58,722.22, which is wrong no matter when they checked the MSRP. I just don't know *how* wrong.

jithesh | 04. april 2019

I paid 778 last year when I picked up in June 2018
Then I again paid 890 in 2019

Hopefully it will go down next time.

kevin_rf | 04. april 2019

Don't forget the valuation include deprecation.... Which factors in how long you have owned the car. I assume you paid something like $62k or more based on your options, which has now deprecated $58,722.22 after all the hand waving is done.

jhn | 04. april 2019

Excise tax in MA is pretty easy to calculate. $25 for every $1000 of the car's assessed value.And the assessed value is 90% of the purchase price the first year, 60% the second year, 40% the third year, 25% the fourth year, 10% the fifth and every consecutive years.

mymoneyjenny | 04. april 2019

Yes, very easy to calculate but not so easy to understand where they are getting their valuation from (it's supposed to be the MSRP). Mine is incorrect.

mymoneyjenny | 04. april 2019

It didn't depreciate to $58,722.22 because I bought it for $58,700 this March including documentation and fees. And it hasn't appreciated either...

Some other MA Tesla owners have said their valuations were based on the MSRP prior to options. That would be super nice, but I'm not holding my breath. At the very least the valuation is 22.22 off. But if they eliminate the documentation and delivery fees then it will get better from there.

kevin_rf | 04. april 2019

Your talking current year prorated (Month left in the year ( 12 - 3 ) March / 12 months in a year) * $25 * $58700 / 1000.0 = $1100.625 on my calculator.

We have a winner.... Next year will be cheaper.

mymoneyjenny | 04. april 2019

The excise bill shows the valuation as 90% since it's the first year. That works out to an underlying valuation of 58,722.22, which is an incorrect valuation. I'm not sure why you are showing my excise tax, which I already know.

I am trying to determine how other Tesla owners have had their valuations determined--NOT their actual excise tax, for which the rules are clearly shown online.

mymoneyjenny | 04. april 2019

Fyi, it's 12 - 2 since I purchased in March--they charge you for the full month of purchase.

sethfiermonti | 04. april 2019

In NH, the long range is considered an option so I was taxed in my town at $35000

mymoneyjenny | 04. april 2019

@ sethfiermonti

That's awesome. I read some MA owners had something similar, but that was back in 2017 or so and given the MA requirement to send them the window sticker to change the valuation, I'm not very hopeful they will only charge me on the base model without options.

Still hoping some MA recent purchaser pops up and says they were able to get that lower valuation...and how they did it.

kevin_rf | 04. april 2019

Let me try again....

Based on your numbers, they prorated the first year based on the purchase price.

Full year is $25 * $58700 / 1000.0 = $1467.50
You bought in march leaving 9 months left in the year (9 /12) = 0.75

Full year tax x 3/4 of a year, $1467.50 * 0.75 = $1100.625

That is your bill and perfectly matches both numbers you posted.

For instance I bought in September and ended up with a ~$400 excise tax in 2018 for a very similar vehicle ($59k, no FSD). Again because only 1/4 of the year was left.

crmedved | 04. april 2019

Wow. My condolences to all of you who live in MA... that is a horrible amount of tax. I didn't know how good I have it in Delaware... here, it is just flat 4.25% of sale price and $40/year for registration :S

rdavis | 04. april 2019

@mfrey | April 3, 2019
I too am in MA and can not believe that we get taxed multiple times for a purchase. We already paid sales tax, but then get taxed over and over again. I find it criminal.

You don't have to pay it... of course if you don't pay it you can only drive it on Private Property, which wouldn't be too much fun. ;) The tax is supposed to be for the ability to drive it on public roads and the $$$ are supposed to go to maintaining those roads. I don't have an issue in paying for that, but i doubt that the money is really spent there...

mfrey | 04. april 2019

We already pay property taxes that is used for the town public works, education etc...
It is absurd.

rdavis | 04. april 2019

@mfrey... vote'm out of office and get someone in there that will change the tax codes... ;)

kevin_rf | 04. april 2019

@rdavis I am pretty sure the excise tax goes to the town's general fund to be used for the items on the town warrant that they argue over til all hours of evening at the annual town hall meeting. As far as I can tell, MA does not spend money on roads.

Funny, auto-correct wanted to use a more descriptive word for annual.... Which about describes your typical town hall.

kevin_rf | 04. april 2019

As far as vote'm out, with an annual town hall, the only way to do it would be to make sure your neighbors that vote yes on every warrant item don't show up. Torches and pitchforks may work...

jithesh | 04. april 2019

ok.. now i am confused. i actually never bothered to check the accuracy

if someone could clarify mine as well
so for my 50K RWD bought in June I paid 778. Shouldn't it be 725
but in 2nd year I paid 862 but should have been 750 correct ?

Does it changes with city also ?

kevin_rf | 04. april 2019

It's a state constant...

If you own any motor vehicle that has been registered for less than a full calendar year, you will pay the excise based on the entire month when you registered that vehicle, as well as for the remaining months of the year. For example, a vehicle registered on April 9th will be billed an excise for April through December.

mymoneyjenny | 04. april 2019

@kevin_rf: I never told you the exact amount of the excise tax and no, it is not correct. Your calculations completely missed the point of my post and provided nothing but irrelevant (and partially inaccurate) info that I already know. MA charges for March - December if purchased in March, i.e., 10/12 months. Please don't try to 'explain' this again as your efforts are missing the point.

Once again, I am only looking for how owners' M3s have been *valued*--not how the tax is then calculated. My model was valued at 58,722.22, not 58,700, and while I know for certain that the first number is incorrect, I am hoping that the second will also prove to be overstated based on others valuations on their models in previous years.

mymoneyjenny | 04. april 2019

And to walk you through the actual math...

First year valuations are 90% of the MSRP. For me, that was $52,850, which is 90% of $58,722.22, the underlying valuation that is wrong by at least $22.22 and it is my hope that it is off by more, as some have said their valuations didn't include options (such as FSD).

The excise tax was then calculated at $25 * 52,850/1000 * 10/12 months = 1321.35 * 5/6 = $1,101.04.

But the question I am trying to answer is whether MA owners have found their valuations now include options or whether those valuations match the 'window sticker' price exactly, which includes even the documentation fees.

Idahorefugee | 05. april 2019

Here are the 2 important takeaways from this comment:
1) You'll pay based on 90% of the assessed value for the first, partial year. You'll pay based on 60% of the assessed value for your first full year of ownership, [If you registered in January, then you get to pay for a full year at 90%.]
2) The assessed value includes the cost of the premium upgrade package, the long range battery and paint that isn't black. It does not include the cost of AWD, auto pilot or the destination fee.

Now, I'll show my work...

The "assessed value" of my model 3 is $51,000 - this is the purchase price of my vehicle including the premium upgrade package, the long range battery and the white paint, but *excluding* the $5K for AWD and the $5K for enhanced auto pilot (my sticker price was $61,000).

I registered my car in November of '18 and paid $191.25 in excise tax for the last 2 months of the year (I received my bill in February). [TL;DR: $191.25 * 6 = $1147.50 per year; $1147.50 / 25 * 1000 / 90% = $51,000 assessed value.]

I contacted my town (because I had received our 2019 excise tax bill for our Subaru but not our Tesla) and was told my bill will arrive next week and will be $765. [TL;DR: $765 / 25 * 1000 / 60% = $51,000 assessed value.]

jhn | 05. april 2019

To second @Idahorefugee's explanation. My numbers were exactly the same as @Idahorefugee's for 2019 bill. For 2018 it was exactly double his amount since I had my car 2 months longer since September.

@j.nichol You car is not going to be assessed at $35k. Back in 2017 some towns didn't understand in MA but have corrected to include more clean lines between prices of options and models with regards to Tesla. And NH... well no explanation for their low assessment other than if it took MA awhile to catch up, it will be longer for NH to catch on. ;-)

mymoneyjenny | 05. april 2019

I am really surprised that they aren't including AWD, auto pilot or the destination fee in the sticker price. It sounds like it will be worth sending in the sticker info to them and seeing if they remove those aspects from my assessed value. But the way Tesla has it written up on the sticker shows the final price of the car after everything including the doc fee.

bunoroad | 17. april 2019

Hi. I bought my Tesla within the past 2 months: Model 3, AWD,m Enhanced Autopilot. Cost about 50K. Got the excise tax bill today from the city of Gloucester for $1211.15, I am in complete shock. I understand how excise tax is calculated and determined, but this is an obscene amount of money to charge someone who already paid you (MA) when I purchased the vehicle. Do I have any recourse? Any leniency on that price? I truly resent this bill. Does anyone have an advicee for me when I go to City Hall to tactfully and politely explain mu dismay and seek some sort of deduction. Unreal. Thanks.

liamcraig12345678 | 25. april 2019

Taxes are taxes you should be happy you are paying them xD. Taxes aren't negotiable. You're the people that want higher taxes anyways so why complain? TeslaLogicBestLogic NotaBugItsaFeature

ODWms | 25. april 2019

I hate taxes. But I would hate even more not being in the position to pay the taxes I do.

paul | 25. april 2019

Massachusetts Excise taxes go to cities and towns. The revenue is used for local services, like schools, police, fire fighters. I don't understand people who say they hate taxes.

paul | 25. april 2019

Massachusetts Excise taxes go to cities and towns. The revenue is used for local services, like schools, police, fire fighters. I don't understand people who say they hate taxes.

VolleyballNE1 | 25. april 2019

The Valuation for your car is at the very least, the "Total Base Price" found at for your new car. I think the remainder is Wheel/paint/Interior options. Software options are not included in my 2018 AWD that is valued at 56500 MSRP. So from there my current valuation is 33900 based on year 2 calculations off the 56500 MSRP.

hcdavis3 | 26. april 2019

Because my Model 3 was a July 2018 build delivered in March of 2019 as a demo car my excise tax bill was around 500 bucks. If I had waited for a 2019 build I probably would have paid close to 1000 bucks.

o7b2 | 08. juni 2019

My M3 was first valued at 52,850. I scanned my paper work from the dealer and emailed them to Mass RMV. I was notified 4 days later and the value was revised to 38,000.

VolleyballNE1 | 08. juni 2019

A value without a trim reference is not informative. 38K? Must be a SR+ which has a minimum Total Base Price of 36.2K.

juanbarrera9 | 11. juni 2019

@o7b2 I guess I need to follow the same steps
I have a SR + received my excise tax for 52 k today. could you please provide us with that RMV email address? I can’t find a direct email or instructions anywhere . Thanks in advance .

verma.rubal | 15. oktober 2019

@juanbarrera9 same issue SR+ with RWD, car assessed at 52k and change. Looking to contact RMV.

Joe M | 16. oktober 2019

My experience.
For the purpose of this discussion the percent of valuation in any given year is irrelevant. The important number and the one where errors in bills occur is the valuation itself. My valuation came on the bill as $52,850. I paid $34.5 for the car $14.5 for LRAWD and $1.0 for paint for a total of 50.9k. Doc fees and destination fees are not included in MA calcs. MA valuations are supposed to be based on MSRP of the base car without options. There are three challenges presented to the MA system by Tesla's pricing. First nothing is labeled as MSRP, second what is really more of a model change (LRAWD) is listed as an option, third is Tesla keeps changing its price. The result of my challenging the original bill was a new valuation of $49.9k which is what I paid for the car minus the optional paint. I did not have to fill out any forms I called the registry at 617 351 9580. I have heard of but not seen someone getting the $14.5k for LRAWD removed from the valuation but that honestly does not seem fair. Good Luck

WW_spb | 16. oktober 2019

Got to love Liberal states. Tax residents in to the Oblivion...

stephen.j.smay | 30. mars 2020

My car was also incorrectly valued by the Mass. RMV by over 37%, which resulted in me overpaying my excise tax by $360 in the first two years of ownership. I called the RMV and got these instructions:
Send an email to
In the subject of the email, include the registration/plate number of your vehicle.
In the body of the email, include your full name and your phone number.
Attach the Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement, Vehicle Configuration document that shows the base price, plus options.
... after that, I received an email saying the documents will be reviewed and processed within 7-10 business days. After getting the determination, I will then go back to my town and submit for abatement on those two tax years.

Joe M | 30. mars 2020

Curious about what made you check after two years and also what the final valuation is. Be great if the LRAWD gets treated as an option and pulled from the valuation. Not sure how you could get to a 37% overcharge otherwise. They would not let me take that off, as they called. It a model change and not an option.

bjrosen | 31. mars 2020

I have the AWD, bought in July 2019. My valuation is 35220 and my excise tax bill is $880.50. It looks like they valued it based on the base price not the sticker price.

Joe M | 31. mars 2020


Assuming you are from MA, you are one of the lucky ones where they considered the AWD an option. They told me they considered it a different model and included the cost for awd in the “base”. Amazing how arbitrary they are. MA registry has always been shall we say “independant”.

bjrosen | 31. mars 2020

@JoeM. Yes I'm from MA, picked up my car at Dedham at the end of July. Tesla did the registration. I played some games so that I would qualify for the MA rebate. Bought an AWD in black and deferred the FSD purchase until after the registration was complete. In July black was $750 while all of the other colors were $1K, at $750 the sticker price including destination charge was just under $50K, the other colors would have put me over. As soon as they had completed the registration I did the FSD upgrade, that way it wasn't included as part of the sticker price. I assumed at the time that in addition to getting me the rebate it would also lower my excise tax because the FSD wouldn't be on the registration value. Until today when I reexamined the excise bill I didn't know that they only used the base price for excise tax. My little trick won't work anymore because they've raised the price of black paint, the only color that qualifies now is white and I can't imagine buying a white car,