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Posted on: February 15, 2017

2017 Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Bills Mailing on Feb 16th

Hello!  2017 Motor Vehicle Excise (MVE) tax bills will be mailed Thursday February 16th and will be due on Monday, March 20th. 

Note:  A small number of 2016 bills will be going out for vehicles that were newly registered late in calendar year 2016.  

The 2016 bills have been prorated to reflect the number of months from the month that the car was registered through December 31, 2016.  

Each excise tax bill contains two bill copies.  One is for you to keep and the other should be sent in with your payment.  

Please keep your copies in a safe place for your 2017 income tax filing. 



  • 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 (2017, MVE, Bill #). 
  • Pay Online using the Town's online bill pay provider, City Hall Systems.  Go to the town's website, www.westfordma.gov, select Pay and Look Up Bills from the home page and then choose Pay Tax Bills on the right.  You can pay as a guest or set up a User Account ID.  
    • 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)
  • Stop by - Office Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday (Please note Monday February 20th is the President's Day Holiday and the office will be closed)

If you no longer own the vehicle for which you have received an excise tax bill, you should file an abatement application with the Assessor's Office.  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. 

Here's a question we hear every year, "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 & future 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, www.westfordma.gov, 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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