Section 31/2: Commonwealth residency factors; access to information in nonpublic records; certification of facts; motor vehicle registration misrepresentations; penalties and fines
Section 31/2. (a) Any person claiming to be a nonresident for purposes of section 3, shall be deemed to be a resident of the commonwealth during any period in which such person:
(1) obtained an exemption pursuant to clause Seventeenth, Seventeenth C, Seventeenth C1/2, Seventeenth D, Eighteenth, Twenty-second, Twenty-second A, Twenty-second B, Twenty-second C, Twenty-second D, Twenty-second E, Thirty-seventh, Thirty-seventh A, Forty-first, Forty-first A, Forty-first B, Forty-first C, Forty-second or Forty-third of section 5 of chapter 59;
(2) obtained an exemption pursuant to section 5C of said chapter 59;
(3) filed a Massachusetts resident income tax return pursuant to chapter 62;
(4) obtained a rental deduction pursuant to subparagraph (9) of paragraph (a) of Part B of section 3 of chapter 62;
(5) declared in a home mortgage settlement document that the mortgaged property located in the commonwealth would be occupied as his principal residence;
(6) obtained homeowner's liability insurance coverage on property that was declared to be occupied as a principal residence;
(7) filed a certificate of residency and identified his place of residence in a city or town in the commonwealth in order to comply with a residency ordinance as a prerequisite for employment with a governmental entity;
(8) paid on his own behalf, or on behalf of a child or dependent for whom the person has custody, resident in-state tuition rates to attend a state-sponsored college, community college or university;
(9) applied for and received public assistance from the commonwealth for himself or his child or dependent of whom he has custody;
(10) has a child or dependent of whom he has custody who is enrolled in a public school in a city or town in the commonwealth, unless the cost of such education is paid for by him, such child or dependent, or by another education jurisdiction;
(11) is registered to vote in the commonwealth;
(12) obtained any benefit, exemption, deduction, entitlement, license, permit or privilege by claiming principal residence in the commonwealth; or
(13) is a resident under any other written criteria under which the commissioner of revenue may determine residency in the commonwealth.
(b) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the custodian of any records referred to in subsection (a) that are not accessible to the general public shall provide, upon request, to the registrar of motor vehicles, the commissioner of revenue, the local board of assessors, or a local or state police officer, access to certain information contained therein solely for purposes of enforcing chapters 59, 60A, 64H, 64I and 90. The disclosure of information contained in such records referred to in paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection (a) shall be made by the commissioner of revenue pursuant to this section and shall be limited to: the taxpayer's name; the taxpayer's primary place of residence or domicile; the type of return filed; the taxpayer identification number; the determination of whether the taxpayer took the rental deduction on his income tax return; and an explanation of the factors that indicated said taxpayer's residency within the commonwealth.
If records maintained by a custodian indicate that a person is deemed to be a resident under subsection (a), the custodian may certify in writing as to the facts contained in those records and the certification shall be prima facie evidence of the person's residency within the commonwealth in any proceeding involving enforcement of said chapters 59, 60A, 64H, 64I and 90, including any proceedings under subsection (c).
(c) Any person who improperly registers a motor vehicle or trailer in another state or misrepresents the place of garaging of the motor vehicle or trailer within the commonwealth, for purposes of evading the payment of motor vehicle excise, sales and use taxes or insurance premiums, or to reduce the amount of such payment, shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $1,000 for each offense. For purposes of this section, each taxable year that a motor vehicle or trailer is improperly registered shall be considered a separate offense, but no more than 3 years shall be the subject of prosecution. The fines imposed pursuant to this section shall be divided as follows: 75 per cent of the fines shall be paid over to the treasury of the city or town in whose jurisdiction the motor vehicle is customarily garaged; and 25 per cent of the fines shall be paid over to the treasurer of the commonwealth to be deposited in the highway fund to offset costs associated with the implementation of this section. The Massachusetts Collectors and Treasurers Association, in conjunction with the treasurer of the commonwealth, shall report quarterly to the house and senate committee on ways and means the total amount of fines imposed and collected pursuant to this section.
As an alternative to criminal prosecution, violation of this section may be disposed of as a civil motor vehicle infraction in the amount of $500 under chapter 90C, fines recovered under this paragraph shall be divided as follows: 50 per cent of the fines shall be paid over to the treasury of the city or town in whose jurisdiction the motor vehicle is customarily garaged, of which not less than 40 per cent of the city or town share shall be appropriated to the police department in the city or town; and 50 per cent of the fines shall be paid over to the treasurer of the commonwealth to be deposited in the Highway Fund to offset costs associated with the implementation of this section.