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Old 12-04-2017, 10:53 PM   #1
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Very high excise tax bill

Today I received my first excise tax bill since registering my bus earlier this year. I was shocked that it was for $700.00 dollars, but I figured it was a clerical error. When I called my town to check it out they said it was definitely accurate and that the assessment was based on $25 dollars per $1000 dollars of value. I said to them that if I owe this amount it would mean they're assessing my bus at $30,000.00 dollars. They said they don't handle assessments, and that I'd have to call the RMV.

The RMV told me the assessment was accurate and that they based it off the fact that my 1999 International was purchased for 300,000.00 new, and that the assessment goes down from 50% of original value to the lowest amount of 10% of original value and that's the lowest it will ever go. Therefore I will always have to pay $700.00 per year excise tax.

Has anyone else had a similar excise bill, or is this only in Taxachusetts?
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:56 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Summ1 View Post
Today I received my first excise tax bill since registering my bus earlier this year. I was shocked that it was for $700.00 dollars, but I figured it was a clerical error. When I called my town to check it out they said it was definitely accurate and that the assessment was based on $25 dollars per $1000 dollars of value. I said to them that if I owe this amount it would mean they're assessing my bus at $30,000.00 dollars. They said they don't handle assessments, and that I'd have to call the RMV.

The RMV told me the assessment was accurate and that they based it off the fact that my 1999 International was purchased for 300,000.00 new, and that the assessment goes down from 50% of original value to the lowest amount of 10% of original value and that's the lowest it will ever go. Therefore I will always have to pay $700.00 per year excise tax.

Has anyone else had a similar excise bill, or is this only in Taxachusetts?
$300k new, in 1999?

Did they show you the invoice?

They have made a mistake.
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Old 12-04-2017, 11:06 PM   #3
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They made a HUGE mistake! School buses are worth, at BEST $70K NEW this year! Go to your local Thomas, BlueBird, International dealer and get an invoice on a NEW bus and show those government morons that they are in fact blithering idiots with that invoice on a NEW school bus. Then have them retroact the '99 to the proper $35 fee it should be.....

M

P.S. - That's one of many reasons we left New England over 40, yes, FORTY years ago and never looked back......
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Old 12-04-2017, 11:18 PM   #4
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Boy do I hate excise. I used to excise every morning but it wadn't working.

You've likely got a young new clerk in the mix somewhere giving you numbers like that. I'd sell mine for $30k but it's certainly not worth that much. They have to tax you on current value, not past values. I think you need to take your original purchase receipts to the DMV to show them how much it's worth. They can't base their estimates off of new value on a 18 year old vehicle. There is something wrong there.

I have to go excise now.
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:47 AM   #5
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Here in GA, they charge a one-time fee identical to the sales tax in your county. If you paid sales tax (bought at a dealer) and have proof of this, that amount is deducted from said fee. From that day forward the annual tag fee is $20.

The entire tax structure is different for commercial uses. Since my bus is not used for commerce, the tag office simply tagged it just like a private passenger vehicle ... and by strict definition, that's exactly what it is.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:39 AM   #6
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I payed the Bluebird dealer in Everett a visit a few months ago and they showed me a new 2017 AARE.

Price tag? $160k
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:22 PM   #7
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Boy do I hate excise. I used to excise every morning but it wadn't working.

You've likely got a young new clerk in the mix somewhere giving you numbers like that. I'd sell mine for $30k but it's certainly not worth that much. They have to tax you on current value, not past values. I think you need to take your original purchase receipts to the DMV to show them how much it's worth. They can't base their estimates off of new value on a 18 year old vehicle. There is something wrong there.

I have to go excise now.
They actually can base the tax on their valuation, rather than what you paid .. at least in Oklahoma. If they say a second hand car is worth $12k and you paid $8k for it, they can tax it on the $12k.

However, in this instance a serious error has been made. That bus probably cost $100k new, and if they are taxing it as a commercial vehicle, the bill is immediately cut by 2/3rds. I can't believe the sales tax regime is as high for private vehicles, so maybe it needs to be re-titled at the same time.

Either way, it's not over $700 for the tax.
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:28 PM   #8
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Register your beastie in VT or somewhere else where you aren't taxed to death.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:16 PM   #9
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They actually can base the tax on their valuation, rather than what you paid .. at least in Oklahoma. If they say a second hand car is worth $12k and you paid $8k for it, they can tax it on the $12k.
In GA this is normal but you can file a appeal to have them base it on what you actually paid. When I transferred my bus into my name they saw on the bill of sale I paid $1500 for it & they charged me 7% sales tax on that amount.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:31 PM   #10
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In GA this is normal but you can file a appeal to have them base it on what you actually paid. When I transferred my bus into my name they saw on the bill of sale I paid $1500 for it & they charged me 7% sales tax on that amount.
but is that per year? some states tax each YEAR for the tags based on this value..

in ohio I simply show a bill of sale and pay that sales tax.. unless I bought it from a dealer who already charged me the same tax rate.. tag price is a set rate each year noit based on the value.. but some states definitely charge yearly based on some perceived value of the vehicle..
-Christopher
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:45 PM   #11
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WA used to have the value based system on vehicle licensing. Don't know if they still do it that way.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:50 PM   #12
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but is that per year? some states tax each YEAR for the tags based on this value..

..
-Christopher
In OK I was talking about the initial sales tax applicable to all vehicles. It's 3.5% of the purchase price on new, and a complex formula for secondhand. $20 on the first $1500 and a small %age on the rest. It's a one-off.

There is then a Tag Fee, annually. $100-ish for all cars until age 12 years, then a sliding scale down to $20 per year for older vehicles.

However, I don't know what OK charges for commercial vehicles.
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:12 PM   #13
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Our oldest bus on the lot was bought in 2000 for $54,000, is a 77 passenger international chassis blue bird with a 7.3 motor/allison trans. Just getting ready to order a new 77 passenger IC bus with a cummins/allison, for $87,000.
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:18 PM   #14
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I want one of those $300,000 school buses, and it better have auto park, lane assist and an espresso machine.
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:23 PM   #15
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My bookmobile cost $164,000 in 2003 35' BB Fe.

I spoke with the Coachbuilder and he told me it'd be $260,000 to order same bus today.
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:55 PM   #16
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As best I understand it, excise tax is usually a one time thing paid the year of purchase.

Some states also charge personal property tax on cars, RV's etc. That is an annual charge.
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:54 PM   #17
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All this talk about excise tax. I finally had to look it up.

Excise

Noun; a tax levied on certain goods and commodities produced or sold within a country and on licenses granted for certain activities.

Verb; charge excise on (goods).


I still say that high value assigned to that bus was wrong and an appeal should correct the issue. That said, appeals take so long that you'll probably have to pay the tax anyway while the appeal is processing. There's some clerk in there that has wrongly interpreted the tax laws, and they need to be taken down, I mean corrected.

This is a confusing issue considering how various states wring money out of residents just for driving on the roads. Whatcha gona do? It cost more to fight them than it does to simply move on.
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
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In GA this is normal but you can file a appeal to have them base it on what you actually paid. When I transferred my bus into my name they saw on the bill of sale I paid $1500 for it & they charged me 7% sales tax on that amount.
This is true, normally they use the "Blue Book" value for most cars. Buses usually don't have Blue Book values since many sell at auctions, at ages usually exceeding 10 years, and in conditions from excellent to scrap. They will commonly accept whatever purchase price is shown on the bill of sale, as long as it appears reasonable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
but is that per year? some states tax each YEAR for the tags based on this value..

in ohio I simply show a bill of sale and pay that sales tax.. unless I bought it from a dealer who already charged me the same tax rate.. tag price is a set rate each year noit based on the value.. but some states definitely charge yearly based on some perceived value of the vehicle..
-Christopher
GA *USED* to do this, it was called "Ad Valorem" tax. Vehicles registered under this system remain taxed this way, though by now most have depreciated to the point it's not a great cost. And yes, it was based on the blue book value of the vehicle each year, so a new car would cost a lot more to register - *Each Year* - than an older one. As the vehicle depreciated, the tax bill did too.

Excise tax is often charged to large, heavy commercial vehicles and it is simply accepted as a cost of doing business. I am assuming your bus is for personal use and it would benefit you to verify you are not being taxed under the business use.
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Old 12-06-2017, 07:10 AM   #19
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Excise tax is often charged to large, heavy commercial vehicles and it is simply accepted as a cost of doing business. I am assuming your bus is for personal use and it would benefit you to verify you are not being taxed under the business use.
In Massachusetts excise tax is collected every year on every vehicle, whether it's personal or commercial. I have my bus registered as an RV, but they're saying that it's original cost was 300K and that it has depreciated down to its lowest assessment, which is 10% of the original.

Excise tax assessments are set by the RMV (Registry of Motor Vehicles) but collected by cities and towns as the cost of using their roads. So yesterday I spent 4 hours running back and forth between the two and they were both blaming each other but the problem still isn't corrected.

I showed them proof that I only paid $75.00 dollars sales tax when I registered it in February, but they still wouldn't accept that. They said sales tax and excise tax are two totally different things.

I said that I know they're different, but the fact that you accepted $75.00 dollars as sales tax shows that you valued the bus at $1,500.00 dollars ($1,500 x 6% sales tax).
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
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In Massachusetts excise tax is collected every year on every vehicle, whether it's personal or commercial. I have my bus registered as an RV, but they're saying that it's original cost was 300K and that it has depreciated down to its lowest assessment, which is 10% of the original.

Excise tax assessments are set by the RMV (Registry of Motor Vehicles) but collected by cities and towns as the cost of using their roads. So yesterday I spent 4 hours running back and forth between the two and they were both blaming each other but the problem still isn't corrected.

I showed them proof that I only paid $75.00 dollars sales tax when I registered it in February, but they still wouldn't accept that. They said sales tax and excise tax are two totally different things.

I said that I know they're different, but the fact that you accepted $75.00 dollars as sales tax shows that you valued the bus at $1,500.00 dollars ($1,500 x 6% sales tax).
It's quite possible that the original purchasers will have a copy of the purchase invoice.

Also, there is no reason why Blue Bird? would not give you the new price for your bus from it's build spec.

You can also use the Freedom of Information Act to find out on what basis they are using the $300k figure, which is patently false.
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