Boat Excise

Boat excise is an amount levied on boats and ships in lieu of a~personal property tax~for the privilege of using the Commonwealth’s waterways at a rate of ten dollars per thousand dollars of value. The tax is assessed annually as of July 1, the excise is paid to the community where the boat or ship is usually moored or docked.

Abatement Qualifications:

(1) The valuation of the boat on the excise tax bill is higher the amount listed in the schedule established by G.L. Ch. 60B §2(c). Failure to have filed your Boat Excise Return with the assessors by August 1 may limit or even bar any abatement you may otherwise have been granted.

(2) The boat is exempt from the excise under G.L. Ch. 60B §3.

(3) The boat is sold, traded or ownership is otherwise transferred during the same fiscal year.

(4) The boat is moved to another state, and if required the boat is registered in the new state and the Massachusetts registration is canceled or not renewed, during the same fiscal year.

Applications for abatement must be received by the Board of Assessors within three years after the excise was due, or one year after the excise was paid, whichever is later. To preserve your right to appeal, you must file on time.

Abatements are not allowed if (1) the registration is canceled and ownership of the boat is retained, or (2) the location or registration of the boat is changed to another Massachusetts city or town, during the same fiscal year.

Questions please call or email the Assessors’ Office at (413) 863-3200 Ext. 204.