TheCavis t1_jeg7i7z wrote

This was the obvious outcome once the press got involved and, as an added bonus, the correct outcome based on the wording of the law. I had originally assumed he had admitted to one of the exceptions that would require registration (letting a MA resident drive or using it for business), but it sounds like the RMV just messed up and didn't have any easy way to fix the mistake.


TheCavis t1_jeg5bdf wrote

They're also probably fine. The law, as written, makes an exception if you have liability insurance, aren't using the car as a company vehicle, and don't let MA residents drive the car.

It was basically written as a "don't register in NH to avoid taxes and insurance when you're living in MA" law, but the RMV just skipped the very specific "except" clauses when applying it here.


TheCavis t1_jdicwnf wrote

The MA excise tax page indicates it's less than that:

> If you own any motor vehicle that has been registered for less than a full calendar year, you will pay the excise based on the entire month when you registered that vehicle, as well as for the remaining months of the year.

> The abatement amount granted to taxpayers who have moved out of Massachusetts, transferred vehicle ownership, or had their vehicles stolen is based on the number of months remaining in the calendar year after the month the last eligibility requirement for the abatement takes place.

So, they would be charged excise tax starting the month they arrived and given an abatement for the months after they left. Even if we assume it's two calendar months, that's $4.16 per $1000 of vehicle value. His car model isn't specifically mentioned in the news story, but I think the picture is a Mazda 3 that's at least six years old (the headlights on post-2018 models are sharper and further down below the hood). If my guess is correct, then the excise is $4.16/$1000 times an excise calculation of 10% (more than 5 years old) of less than $30k original MSRP?

All I can imagine at this point is an accountant walking around the RMV yelling "With the plate fee, this bill comes to dozens of dollars. Dozens!"


TheCavis t1_jdfvzqn wrote

I'd trust the lawyer's advice over my personal reading, but the "except" clause seemed so clear and it's so easy to accidentally admit to something seemingly innocent that I assumed that's what happened.

I'm really curious what the cost of actually registering would be. It'd be a major hassle for you (as I believe all of this needs to be done in person in MA), but the RMV appears to have a supervisor, the press office, and the ombudsman's office working to deal with an issue that amounts to a $60 plate fee. If that's all we're looking at, it makes sense to cut bait and issue a stern warning at this point. Maybe even a wag of the finger and a "now don't you do this again!"


TheCavis t1_jdfnw2u wrote

> Ben said he did get a call from a supervisor in the enforcement services unit who told him under Chapter 90, Section 3 of the Mass Code, anyone who operates a motor vehicle for thirty days in a calendar year is required to register the vehicle.

Maybe I need to work on my legalese.

> Section 3. Subject to the provisions of section three A and except as otherwise provided in this section and in section ten, a motor vehicle or trailer owned by a non-resident who has complied with the laws relative to motor vehicles and trailers, and the registration and operation thereof, of the state or country of registration, may be operated on the ways of this commonwealth without registration under this chapter, to the extent, as to length of time of operation and otherwise, that, as finally determined by the registrar, the state or country of registration grants substantially similar privileges in the case of motor vehicles and trailers duly registered under the laws and owned by residents of this commonwealth; provided, that no motor vehicle or trailer shall be so operated on more than thirty days in the aggregate in any one year or, in any case where the owner thereof acquires a regular place of abode or business or employment within the commonwealth, beyond a period of thirty days after the acquisition thereof, except during such time as the owner thereof maintains in full force a policy of liability insurance providing indemnity for or protection to him, and to any person responsible for the operation of such motor vehicle or trailer with his express or implied consent, against loss by reason of the liability to pay damages to others for bodily injuries, including death at any time resulting therefrom, caused by such motor vehicle or trailer, at least to the amount or limits required in a motor vehicle liability policy as defined in section thirty-four A.

(emphasis mine)

I'm reading that law as you need to register after 30 days if you don't have liability insurance. There's some exceptions listed later: you have to register if you're using it for a business and you have to register if a MA driver is going to be using it. There's also a very long paragraph covering students. The guide book also lists a registration requirement if the vehicle registration is from a state that isn't the owner's home state, but that's not listed in this subsection.

OP had stated that they had appropriate insurance, so I had assumed that they had accidentally admitted to one of those other subcategories (letting their friend drive the car, driving for Uber, etc.). Either there's a communication failure (RMV not explaining the exact violation correctly; OP not relaying information completely) or the RMV is asserting that the "except" clause wasn't applicable here.


TheCavis t1_ja6jms1 wrote

  • I Love Lucy. Iconic comedy that popularized the multi-camera approach with a live studio audience and the approach to syndication.

  • All in the Family. Incorporated discussion of current events, becoming a cultural touchstone during a time of substantial social change.

  • Seinfeld. Perfected the approach of separate disconnected plots, each individually funny, coming together for a larger punchline at the end.

  • The Simpsons. A massive stack of instantly recognizable plots and characters and gags that spans literal generations.

Just off the list: Cheers, Cosby Show (due to the... unpleasantness), Arrested Development.

As my personal Mount Rushmore: Parks and Rec, Simpsons, Police Squad, Scrubs.


TheCavis t1_ivrkq9j wrote

I agree on it not being uncommon. I ran across a bunch of weird results from Charlton last night that had a similar issue, except there were errors in both the unofficial results (since updated) and the map results in different places. It gave 5000-1 result for one of the questions, which is a lot more obvious than this sort of error.

It’s just tough to perfectly parse this much data from this many towns and hard to find errors like this unless you’re specifically looking for specific weirdness in a particular area on a particular question. It all gets cleared up for the official results, so it’s just a matter of slightly annoying us impatient people who need our data now.


TheCavis t1_iu6hdwl wrote

> I get that 1 mil seems like a lot to most people now but it really isn't that much. Sure, maybe tax them but have a rider on that tax so that as inflation blasts higher so does the threshold? Or is that too radical in the opposite way?

That is in the text of the question. From the summary on the Secretary of State website:

> This proposed constitutional amendment would establish an additional 4% state income tax on that portion of annual taxable income in excess of $1 million. This income level would be adjusted annually, by the same method used for federal income-tax brackets, to reflect increases in the cost of living.


TheCavis t1_itzqbqu wrote

> I don't know why but the bad weather is causing people to speed and be aggressive when they should be more cautious.

Fog has a weird perception effect where people think they're driving slower than they actually are. That causes people to speed up, especially if they want to keep their eyes focused on the road due to limited visibility rather than glancing down at their speedometer.

It's also a lesser effect with rain, although that mostly seems like a conflict between people who want to slow down in wet weather and those who want to go the normal speed, causing crashes as the faster traffic jumps lanes to get around slower traffic with lower visibility and lower traction.