Tool | October 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.


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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’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’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


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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