Tool | August 2016

State-by-State Guide to Taxes

Compare state tax rates and rules -- on income, ordinary purchases, gas, "sin" products, property, and more -- across the U.S.

Massachusetts

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The Bottom Line
Map of Massachusetts

Mixed Tax Picture

It gets dubbed "Taxachusetts" sometimes, but that's not really fair. Taxes in the Bay State are decicidely average, with a flat 5.1% property tax and a flat 6.25% sales tax. Property taxes are, well, average. But keep your eye on Massachusetts — the state's long-run solvency is poor, according to a one study. One potential fix being considered: a so-called "millionaire's tax".

Sales Tax

State levy of 6.25%. No local taxes. Most clothing and footwear priced at under $175 per item are exempt.

Income Tax Range

Massachusetts has a flat rate of 5.1% of federal adjusted gross income. State legislators are debating a constitutional amendment that would create a 4% surtax on all income over $1 million. The process of passing an amendment is lengthy, and a final decision may not be made until 2018.

See Kiplinger.com’s Retiree Tax Map to learn how Massachusetts taxes Social Security income and other forms of retirement income.

Motor Fuel Taxes

Gasoline: $0.34 per gallon.
Diesel: $0.34 per gallon.

Property Taxes

The median property tax on Massachusetts' median home value of $388,900 is $4,080.

See Kiplinger.com’s Retiree Tax Map for details on tax breaks for seniors in Massachusetts.

Vehicle Taxes

Sales tax is due. Massachusetts levies an annual excise tax on vehicles. The rate is $25 per $1,000 of assessed value, and the value is set by taking the car’s sticker price (MSRP) and discounting it based on the age of the vehicle. Example: A three-year-old car that sold for $30,000 would have a tax bill of $300.

Sin Taxes

Beer: $0.11 per gallon
Wine: $0.55 per gallon
Liquor: $4.05 per gallon<

Cigarettes and little cigars: $3.51 per pack
Smokeless tobacco: 210% of the wholesale price
Other tobacco products: 30% of the wholesale price

Travel Taxes

Hotel: In addition to a statewide tax of 5.7%, localities may add up to 6% tax. The cities of Boston, Worcester, Cambridge, Springfield, West Springfield, and Chicopee levy an additional 2.75% tax for convention-center funding. Sales tax isn't applied.

Rental cars: Boston collects a $10 fee per rental to pay for a convention center. Sales tax is due.

Taxes On Wireless Service

8.9%

Inheritance and Estate Taxes

Massachusetts has no inheritance tax. Estates valued at more than $1 million may be subject to an estate tax. Tax rates range from 0.8% for estates valued at $1 million to 16% for estates exceeding $10,040,000. There is an unlimited marital deduction for property left to a surviving spouse and an unlimited charitable deduction for property left to a qualified charity.

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