Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Bills

Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Bills are usually released in late February or early March and are for the whole year from January 1st or when the car was registered. If you buy a car during the year you will be assessed from the month the car is registered to the end of the year. This bill can be released anytime during the year or even the next year. If you transfer the plate from one car to a new car, you should apply for an abatement on the first car's excise tax bill. If you are late paying your excise tax bill you will be charged 12% interest from the due date and a demand collection fee. If you still do not pay, your bill will be turned over to Kelley and Ryan Associates, Inc., Deputy Collector for collection. You must contact the Deputy Collector at 508-473-9660 or visit the Kelley and Ryan City Hall Systems website if you are marked at the registry before you can renew your license or register a car.

2024 Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Bills

2024 Motor Vehicle Excise (MVE) tax bills will be mailed on Wednesday February 28th, 2024 and will be due on Friday March 29, 2024.

Each excise tax bill contains two bill copies. One is for you to keep and the other is a submittal copy. Please keep your excise tax bill copies in a safe place for your 2023 income tax filing. There are many ways to pay:

  • Pay Online using the Town's online bill pay provider.
  • Mail payments to:
    Tax Collector's Office
    P.O. Box 1305
    Littleton, MA 01460
  • The remit address on the bill is for our lockbox bank which is:
    P.O. Box 882
    Reading, MA 01867
  • Drop your check and bill stub in the Drop Box located outside the town hall entrance at 37 Shattuck Street It is located on the left side of the door. Please do not leave cash.
  • Office Hours are 8 am to 6 pm on Mondays, Tuesday through Thursdays 8 am to 4:30 pm, and Fridays 8 am to 12:30 pm.
  • Pay using your own bank's online bill pay system - be sure to update reference information so that your payment gets applied correctly! Best reference - Year, Tax Type and Bill Number (2024 MVE, Bill Number ).

If You No Longer Own the Vehicle

If you no longer own the vehicle for which you have received an excise tax bill, you should contact the Assessor's office to apply for an abatement. We recommend that you pay the bill and then Apply for an Abatement (PDF) to avoid late fees and penalties on any balances that are not abated. Assessor's phone number 978-540-2410.

Calculating Excise Bills

Every year we hear, "Why is the bill so high on my old car?" The amount of excise tax that is attributed to each vehicle is based upon a formula that begins with the list price of the vehicle when it was new. The excise tax is calculated by taking the list price value at a certain percentage, which depends on the age of the car, and multiplying that adjusted value by $25 per thousand.

Here's the table that the Registry of Motor Vehicles uses (Example of Tax Calculation for a List Price of $35,000):

Age of VehicleCalculation PercentageBill Valuation CalculationBill Amount (Valuation ÷ by 1000 × Rate)
In the year of manufacture90%$35,000 x 90% = $31,500$31.50 x 25% = $787.50
In the second year60%$35,000 x 60% = $21,000$21.00 x 25% = $525.00
In the third year40%$35,000 x 40% = $14,000$14.00 x 25% = $350.00
In the fourth year25%$35,000 x 25% = $8,750$8.75 x 25% = $218.75
In the fifth and succeeding years10%$35,000 x 10% = $3,500$3.50 x 25% = $87.50

Cars 5 Years or Older

Once your car is five years old or older, the excise tax amount does not change anymore, no matter how long the car is on the road and no matter what the actual value of the car. If you have an old car that was very expensive when it was new, and a newer car that is more economical, it is possible to pay a higher excise tax bill on the older car than you are paying on your new car.