View Full Version : outrageous Mass sales tax for TR

11-22-2008, 08:18 AM
I recently bought a couple of TR7s in seperate transactions. Both were very clean cars that had been put away years ago. They both need a good going through before I can sell them, and hopefully see a profit. One was $1200 and one was $1500. One came with a signed, undated title- good enough for me to use to resell. The other came from an estate sale. I have to go to the registry, pay the sales tax, and apply for the title in my name. Here's the problem. One would assume that a car with a bill of sale would be charged sales tax on the actual sale price. Not in Tax-achusetts. The registry claims that a TR7 is a classic car and therefore the sales tax is based on the NADA book value. NADA claims that a TR7 convertible has an average retail price of $8800. The low retail is over $5000 according to them. A TR8 is around $13K. That means that the state wants $440 sales tax and a $50 title fee just so I can resell the car. When was the last time you saw any TR7 sell for $5000? I've owned around 100 wedges over the past 20 years and never sold a 7 for more than $4500. I guess my mom in Ga. is now the proud owner of a TR7, with many more to come.($28 title fee and possibly no sales tax unless she registers it)

11-22-2008, 08:51 AM
In Maine, we also pay a separate tax on vehicles at registration, paid each year. Not just the $25 or so for the registration but an additional 2.4% of the calculated value. Similar to property tax charged by some other states.

This value is determined by depreciating the original sticker price over a 5 year schedule. I don't have the details on how they figure the depreciation, but after the 5 years, you pay that amount each year, as long as you own the car. Every year.

So for the TR3A, I pay around $60 each year. On our other cars, after 5 years, they all end up around $100 each. But when new, the first year fees (on late model cars) was well over $600, each, and again each year!

The NADA thing is bogus if you buy a fixer and get whacked by a large sales tax. But, at least you only pay it once.

11-22-2008, 09:19 AM
We still pay an excise fee for every car that is on the road as well. It is $25 per $1000 of value. Year one of a new car, that value is the sale price of the car. Year two, it is 50% of the sale price. Year three it is 25%, and year four and every year thereafter it is 10%. I recently purchased a new F350. Sales tax was over 2K and year one excise was over 1K. My old cars and my trailer are all under $50 a piece now for the excise tax. The excise tax goes directly into the town budget. That is one reason why affluent towns have more money to spend on schools. Take a town like Weston, where the average house is $1,000,000 and there are several exspensive newer cars in the driveway, and compare it to Boston where most people don't even have a car.

11-22-2008, 09:33 AM
Rhode Island is no bargain either and every state is going bankrupt??

11-22-2008, 10:15 AM
In California, upon sale of a car, you pay declared value,certified by the seller. No problem with car dealers, but never near actual sales price for private sales.

A friend of mine bought one of these used for $20,000.


The seller put the value at $8,000. When questioned at the DMV, he said, "What's the problem? It is just an Acura." They bought it.

11-22-2008, 10:15 AM
You might want to dig a little deeper into WHICH "book value" they used. The tax code seems to specify "NADA trade-in value", which is normally somewhat below "low retail". Using "average retail" is not what the code says (https://www.mass.gov/rmv/regs/index.htm) (near the bottom).

11-22-2008, 12:06 PM
Just went through this when I got my Texas title for my project TR3a. The NADA restored value was $16K (at least what they quoted me at the tax office) and was the basis for the tax even though my car was not roadworthy. In Texas at least, a licensed appraisor can be used to set the value - finally found an appraisor and that got the cost down to a saner value. Still a pain though.


11-22-2008, 12:26 PM
On new cars here, it's based on the MSRP sticker price, irrespective of what you end up actually paid. On the 3A, they looked up the original "sticker" price of $2K, and went from there.

11-22-2008, 03:43 PM
In Louisian the sales tax is all you pay for taxes. Tags fees vary. However, if you own a car in another state and bring it into LA for a tag you have to pay the sales tax rate (avg 9%) of the cars value (I don't know what they go by for value). There are no more "taxes" just a tag fee every 5( I think 5) years.

11-22-2008, 04:22 PM
In New York, the sales tax is paid based on what the car cost when you bought it. If you buy from a dealer, whether new or used, he collects the tax. If you buy privately, then a bill of sale is all that is neccessary. If the car is less then about 10 years old, DMV may charge you tax on book value if the bill of sale is way out of whack. Any car sales to you by an immediate family member is exempt from sales tax...it's considered a gift. This is one of those things that NY seems to have gotten right. Charge sales tax on what you paid...quite a novel idea.

However, NY has a strange way of charging for registration (tag) fees. They charge by the POUND. Fees are based on the weight of the car. It probably goes back to a time when more expensive cars weighed more. Either that, or heavier cars were more abusive to roadways...I have no idea where that came from. :confuse:

11-22-2008, 04:55 PM
Weight based fees, in most states, are for trucks. Heavier vehicles DO put more wear-and-tear on the road -- especially trucks.

In Minnesota, if the vehicle is over 10 years-old, there's a flat $10 or $15 "transfer fee" instead of sales tax, so they don't make you lie on the bill of sale. The rules go on to state that if the vehicle is worth more than $3000, then the sales tax is imposed.

Annual tag fees (for cars) are based on value, and start out pretty high -- and then go down for 10 years until you hit bottom at $41.25/year. I don't really know what "pretty high" is, having never owned anything remotely resembling a "new" car. Commercial trucks over 1 ton rating still pay weight fees at any age.

The other odd thing about Minnesota is that they send you a new, and different, set of plates every eighth year, based on the concept that no steel license plate can last longer than eight Minnesota Winters. So far, mine have always been ratty, but still legible.

11-23-2008, 01:49 PM
Mickey attempted to bring this thread back on track, but his efforts went unheeded. Thus, I just deleted three or four posts (including his because it quoted the other posts) which veered off-topic and into politics. Please keep politics out of the discussions here.

Thank you,