Introduction to Boat Excise
Pursuant to Ch. 60B of the Massachusetts General Laws, there shall be assessed and levied by each city and town in each fiscal year on every vessel, and its equipment, for the privilege of using the waterways of the commonwealth, an excise measured by the value thereof, as hereinafter defined and determined, at the rate of ten dollars per thousand of valuation unless expressly exempted.
Any person who owns such a vessel on July 1st shall annually, on or before August 1st, make a return on oath to the assessors of the city or town where such vessel is to be moored or docked, or in the case of a vessel which has no mooring or docking space, where said vessel is principally situated, setting forth the vessel’s registration or documentation number, if any; an adequate description, as well as the owner’s estimate of the fair cash value of said vessel and any engine or motor used to propel said vessel, as of the next preceding July 1st; and the place of habitual mooring or docking or other principal location of said vessel. All sums received from the excise imposed under this chapter are paid into the treasury of the city or town and fifty percent of the excise is credited to the municipal waterways improvement and maintenance fund established under the provisions of Section Five G of Chapter Forty.
In the years between certification, Assessors must also maintain the values. They must review sales, and the market every year, and thereby reassess values each year.
While most communities hire professional appraisal firms to perform this task, we in New Bedford have a full time in-house staff to conduct this ongoing effort.