CAR COST: Maine among states with highest excise tax

carHaving grown up in Maine, our state’s excise tax isn’t a shocker.

However, when new friends and co-workers move to Maine, I often hear from them how shocked they are after a trip to register a vehicle.

What is excise tax?

“A tax levied annually for the privilege of operating a motor vehicle or camper trailer on the public ways,” as explained by Maine Revenue Services.

Now a new study from the personal finance website WalletHub reports Maine is among the states with the highest vehicle property taxes.

Twenty-four states don’t charge a vehicle property tax.

Of the 27 states that do charge a tax for the “privilege of operating a motor vehicle,” Rhode Island is the highest, $1,099.

Maine ranks the 6th highest at $554.

To calculate these numbers, WalletHub used the value of a 2016 Toyata Camry LE four-sedan: $23,070 (manufacturer’s suggested retail price, MSRP).

Excise tax in Maine is determined by the age of the vehicle and the MSRP; the newer the car, the higher the excise tax.

  • Year 1 .0240 mil rate
  • Year 2 .0175 mil rate
  • Year 3 .0135 mil rate
  • Year 4 .0100 mil rate
  • Year 5 .0065 mil rate
  • Year 6 .0040 mil rate

The town that collects the excise tax can use the money towards the annual budget – usually for road maintenance, construction, and repair, according to the state.

Source: WalletHub
Jon Chrisos

About Jon Chrisos

Award-winning journalist Jon Chrisos is the investigative and consumer reporter at CBS 13 in Portland. He also anchors weeknights at 5:30. Chrisos is “On Your Side” investigating the stories that make a difference in your life. He’s passionate about helping those who’ve been wronged, exposing government waste, asking tough questions, and uncovering the truth.