(1) Each light vehicle must be assigned an MSRP as prescribed in the database maintained by the department on the statewide motor vehicle computer system. The assignment must be based on the vehicle identification number, make, model and year. If more than one MSRP may be attributed to a particular vehicle make, model and year, the lowest MSRP will be assigned to that vehicle in the database for purposes of calculating the light vehicle tax.
(2) For those light vehicles for which an MSRP cannot be electronically assigned from the department's database, the department will establish an MSRP, based on one of the following methods, and manually enter it on the system:
(a) the department may refer to nationally recognized vehicle valuation publications to locate the vehicle's MSRP;
(b) the department may derive an MSRP for the vehicle by factoring, as appropriate, from a known MSRP for the same or similar vehicle make and model from a different year of manufacture to the subject year; or
(c) the department may extrapolate an MSRP by using a known or standard "trade-in" value and age for the same or similar vehicle make and model from a prior registration period, as available on the system, and the appropriate age-vehicle type factor from the depreciation schedule, as provided in 61-3-503 , MCA.
(3) A vehicle that has a deemed taxable value of $500.00 as of December 31, 1997, will not be assigned an MSRP, but will retain a depreciated value for taxation purposes of $500.00 for the remainder of its life.
(4) If an MSRP has been manually assigned to a vehicle in accordance with (2) (b) or (c) above, the MSRP is subject to being replaced if, at a later time, the actual MSRP for that vehicle is published or the department adopts a standard MSRP for that vehicle make, model, and year, and the published or standard MSRP is included in the department's database.