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Posted on: February 13, 2018

2018 Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Bills

Hello!  2018 Motor Vehicle Excise (MVE) tax bills were mailed Thursday February 8th and will be due on Monday, March 12th. 

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 2018 income tax filing. 


There Are Many Ways To Pay:

  • Pay Online using the Town's online bill pay provider, City Hall Systems.  Go to the town's website,, select Pay and Look Up Bills from the home page and then choose Pay Tax Bills on the right.
  • Online users of City Hall Systems can create a User ID to allow them to make payments more quickly, schedule payments for a future date, see payment transaction history, and sign up for E-Billing, which would help us go green! 
  • Mail payments to Tax Collector's Office, 55 Main Street, Westford, MA 01886
  • Drop your check and bill stub in the Drop Box located at the town hall on the left side of the driveway just before the parking lot. (Please do not leave cash)
  • Office Hours are 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday (Please note Monday February 19th is the President's Day Holiday and the office will be closed)
  • 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 (2018, MVE, Bill #). 

What if I got rid of this car?  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.  Abatement applications are available on the town's website under the Board of Assessors page. We recommend that you pay the bill and then apply for an abatement to avoid late fees and penalties on any balances that are not abated.  Assessor’s phone number 978/692-5504.

How is my excise tax bill calculated?  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:

Age of Vehicle                           Calc %     Example of Tax Calculation for a List Price of $35,000              

In the year of manufacture:        90%        $35,000 X 90% = $31,500, 31.50 x $25= $787.50

In the second year:                    60%        $35,000 X 60% = $21,000, 21.00 x $25= $525.00

In the third year:                        40%        $35,000 X 40% = $14,000, 14.00 x $25= $350.00

In the fourth year:                      25%        $35,000 X 25% = $  8,750,   8.75 x $25= $218.75

In the fifth & succeeding years    10%        $35,000 X 10% = $  3,500,   3.50 x $25= $  87.50

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.  More information about excise tax can be found on the Town's website,, on the Tax Collector's page. Click on the Motor Vehicle Excise Information tab on the left.  I hope this information is helpful to you! 

Christine Collins

Tax Collector-Treasurer

Town of Westford


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