• Jul 12, 2008
Owning a high-end car? Fun. Paying the hefty vehicle tax on it? Not so much -- that is, unless you live in the state of Massachusetts. From the late 1990s to 2007, the state's Registry of Motor Vehicles missed collecting $32 million a year in annual taxes because it used the NADA database to calculate them for some 131,000 exotics or otherwise premium vehicles. Unfortunately for the RMV, NADA's database excludes high-end luxury vehicles, so there was no proper way to tax those cars in the state. If, for instance, you purchased a Bugatti Veyron, instead of paying many thousands of dollars, you could have wound up paying no more than the owner of a Ford Focus.

This is going to suck for owners of affected cars, as the taxman comes to collect what he missed the first time around, right? Wrong. Folks who purchased an affected vehicle through 2007 are completely off the hook. The commonwealth has decided that trying to collect the over $300 million it missed over all those years would be an administrative and legal nightmare. That's a win-win situation for premium car owners in Mass. that's sure to torque off the regular guy, whom the government had no trouble finding and collecting from, as usual. What's scandalous is that no one at the RMV figured this out until now. Bay Staters, that's you're local government (and those tax dollars it collects) at work.

[Source: Kicking Tires]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, the apocalypse must be nigh: People were able to avoid a tax in Taxachusetts.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am certain that, being the "socially just" people the Kennedies are, they are all rushing down to the Mass. Revenue dept to pay the back-taxes so as to provide for the little people they vow to protect in every campaign.

      Sheesh. Yeah right ....

      Anybody who worships any politician is out of his/her mind.
      • 6 Years Ago
      For people not familiar with this tax there is an excise tax on vehicles in Massachusetts. It is based (very roughly) on the value of your vehicle.

      It's a property tax that is designed to hit people with more valuable cars with a bigger tax bill. They really don't care if the car gets driven twice a year or twice a day. It's about the value of the cars in your garage so missing out on taxing the most expensive cars in the state seems like a pretty big screw-up.

      If you're bored or curious there is plenty of info available here:

      http://www.sec.state.ma.us/cis/cisexc/excidx.htm
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, so unaffected people are pissed off because, due to the government's mistake, other citizens got to keep more of their own money.

      Geez, you think they'd be happy. Instead, they're only going to be happy when _everyone_ gets screwed even though that's not a net positive for them. Yep, class warfare works...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Massive Taxes actually decided not to suck these folks' blood? Wonder of wonders! There still is hope!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Who cares?
      Why should more expensive cars pay more tax?
      dont exotic car owners generally drive significantly fewer miles in them than other cars, causing less congestion, less wear on road surfaces and all that.

      Here in uk a big thing recently has been about car tax changes, larger cars (SUV's ect...) end up paying the equvillent of 1000 dollars a year for the right to drive on public roads but very small cars (eg under 100g/km emmisions (and hybrids maybe?? not sure)) dont have to pay any.
      Stupid in my opinion, all cars use the roads.

      I think car tax should be abolished and the income deficite should come from proportional increases in fuel duty. May sound insane at a time of 9 dollars per gallon fuel here today but it is fairer and will encourage less unnessesarry usage of cars unlike car tax which is just a yearly kick in the balls.

      Does anyone agree or dissagree with me??
        • 6 Years Ago
        So no, i don't agree with most of your points.

        First off, the reason why people who own SUVs have to pay more compared to small and low emission car owners in the UK is based on environmental reasons. You're pretty much paying to have the privilege to pollute more, a concept that is flawed, but quite popular in Europe. Ideally, the taxes would then go to promote green initiatives.

        Second, the reasons for higher taxes for more expensive cars are similar to why we use a progressive tax system. When you can't afford as expensive a car you don't have to pay as many taxes and you can then use that money for other things that may allow you to increase your wealth. It's an form of automatic stabilizer for the economy.

        Also, a duty on petrol instead of taxes on cars assumes that we're going to be using it for a long time. People who drive hydrogen, ngv, or electric vehicles wouldn't have to pay any taxes for driving. Maybe they'll get some sort of tax break for environmental reasons, but they shouldn't be exempted completely from any tax. It wouldn't be smart to reform the tax system based on a petrol duty because as we switch to alternative forms of energy we would have to reform the tax system yet again, which costs money.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You make a good point in your first paragraph. Most of these cars don't see the light of day more than once a month, because most are only insured for a few days of driving a month.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Typical Taxachusetts.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No wonder 80000 people a year are leaving this state. This is outrageous. The excise tax is the biggest ripoff of alltime. The money is supposed to be used for road repairs, but it isn't. The tax used to be $66 per thousand valuation of your car in the old days. Now it's $25 per thousand. The residents of this state should be appalled that this happened.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I for one am completely shocked that the wealthy have gotten away with paying little or no taxes to the federal government.
        • 6 Years Ago
        please cite your source, friend.

        5% of the U.S. elite... paying 80% of the entire U.S. tax revenue? Come on now.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Are you serious?

        Do you realize that the "wealthy" as in the top 5% of the US population pay more than 80% of the all taxes collected?
        • 6 Years Ago
        This is about the state taxes, which go to towns in MA. It has nothing to do with the federal government.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Property tax on your vehicle suggests that it isn't really yours, it's owned by the state. You're just renting.

      Pretty obnoxious if you ask me, but then socialism is like that.

      • 6 Years Ago
      The vehicle tax is totally obnoxious, a huge disincentive to consumption.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Cant wait for hippies to pour in here declaring that this is all a big conspiracy by Big Oil to launder money for a space-based laser to destroy wildlife preservations and electric car plants.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sounds like your the real paranoid schizophrenic.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is today IRS day? this is the 3rd article about taxes and cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hahahahaha. Man you’re cool. I have a very bad day today, but u make my day. Thank you. :))))))))))))
    • Load More Comments