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Boats, Ships, and Vessel Excise FAQ's
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What is boat excise?
The excise is imposed for the privilege of using the waterways of the commonwealth.

Who must pay?
It applies to anyone who owns such a vessel on July 1st.

To what community is this paid?
The tax is paid annually to the community in which the vessel is habitually moored or docked. In the instance that the vessel has no mooring or docking space, it would be the community in which the vessel is principally situated.

What is the rate?
The rate is $10.00 per thousand of valuation.

What is the minimum tax?
No bill shall be $10.00 or less.

How are the vessels valued?
Vessels are valued from the following chart:



Length of Vessel


Valuation of Vessels



Under 4 yrs

4-6 yrs

7+ yrs

Under 16'

$ 1,000

$ 700

$ 400

16' but less than 17.5'

1,500

1,000

800

17.5' but less than 20'

3,000

2,000

1,500

20' but less than 22.5'

5,000

3,300

2,500

22.5' but less than 25'

7,500

5,000

3,800

25' but less than 27.5'

10,500

7,000

5,300

27.5' but less than 30'

14,000

9,300

7,000

30' but less than 35'

18,500

12,300

9,300


35' but less than 40'

24,000

16,000

12,000

40' but less than 50í'

31,500

21,000

15,800
50' but less than 60'
41,000
27,300

20,500

60' or over

50,000

33,000

24,800

Where is the billing information derived from?
Most of the billing information is provided to the Assessorís office from the Registry Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Docking slips are another source of billing information. Boat owners are required to file a return as to the information on the vessel, with the Board of Assessors on July 1st of the corresponding year.

Who qualifies for an abatement?
You may be entitled to an abatement (or refund if the excise is paid) if:

Your boat is valued for more than the amount listed in the schedule established by G.L. Ch. 60B ß2(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.

Your boat is exempt from the excise under G.L. Ch. 60B ß3.

You sell, trade or otherwise transfer ownership of the boat during the same fiscal year.

You move to another state, and if required to register the boat, register it there and cancel or not renew your Massachusetts registration, during the same fiscal year.

Please contact our office to find out what information would be necessary to receive an abatement.

You are not entitled to an abatement if you (1) cancel your registration and retain ownership of the boat, or (2) change the location or registration of the boat to another Massachusetts city or town, during the same fiscal year.

Where must I file for an abatement?
You must file the application in the Assessorís office.

Where do I get an application for abatement?
You can either pick one up at the Assessorís office or one can be mailed upon request or you can here.

When must I file for an abatement?
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 is paid, whichever is later. To preserve your right to appeal, you must file on time.

When you file for an abatement, our office requires you to also file a ìregistry change formî so that this can be kept on file in the office and then it is forwarded to the registry for their records.

 
 
Town of Hadley, 100 Middle Street, Hadley, MA 01035