The Commonwealth of Massachusetts derives revenue from the sale of real estate through the sale of state tax stamps. The amount of the excise tax stamp differs from time to time depending on the action of the State General Court. In Middlesex County, the seller, by custom, is obligated to pay the amount of this stamp just as the buyer is accountable for paying the recording fee for the deed and his/her mortgage. The money paid for the tax stamps is income to the Registry and is forwarded to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Revenue. The current tax stamp rate is $2.28 per $500.00 of value.