Section 8A. Any person, not including a corporation, engaged principally in agriculture, who owns farm machinery and equipment, other than motor vehicles and trailers which are exempt under clause Thirty-fifth of section five, or mules, horses, neat cattle, swine, sheep, goats, domestic fowl or mink, which are not exempt under clause Twenty-first of section five, and any individual under eighteen years of age who owns and raises any such animals or fowl in connection with an agricultural youth program, including but not limited to the 4H Clubs and Future Farmers of America, which are not exempt under said clause Twenty-first of section five, shall annually, on or before March first, make a return on oath to the assessors of the town where such machinery and equipment or such animals and fowl are located, setting forth the make, age, model, if any, and purchase price of such machinery and equipment and the number and kind of each class of such animals and fowl owned by him on the next preceding January first. For the purposes of this section the term “equipment” shall include plastic covered greenhouses used for agricultural, horticultural or floricultural purposes, which are not constructed upon a concrete foundation. If the assessors are satisfied of the truth of the return they shall assess such machinery and equipment and such animals and fowl at the rate of five dollars per one thousand dollars of valuation, as determined by the commissioner of revenue, of such machinery and equipment and of each class and kind of such animals and fowl, and such persons shall be otherwise exempt from taxation on these classes of property under this chapter.
If an owner, as described in the first paragraph, fails to make a return within the time provided therein, the assessors may abate a tax otherwise imposed by this chapter if he provides the assessors with a reasonable excuse for failure to file such return as aforesaid, and if a return is filed on or before October thirty-first of the year to which the tax relates; but no abatement hereunder shall reduce the tax otherwise imposed to an amount less than the sum of the excise imposed by this chapter plus fifty per cent thereof. No tax shall be due if the actual tax due is less than ten dollars.
The excise imposed hereunder shall be committed by the board of assessors to the collector of taxes together with their warrant for the collection thereof in the same manner as real and personal property taxes assessed under this chapter. The collector shall notify the person assessed of the amount of the excise in the manner provided in section three of chapter sixty. For the collection of the excise assessed under this section the collector shall have all the remedies provided by chapter sixty. The excise assessed shall be due and payable on October first of the year assessed, and if not paid on or before November first of the year of assessment, or within thirty days after notification of said excise if said notice is given after October first, shall bear interest as provided in section fifty-seven of chapter fifty-nine.
The local appropriating authority, as defined in section 21C, may, by a two-thirds vote, seek voter approval to not impose the excise established by this section.