Dartmouth’s new Town Collector settling into role
There is a new face in Town Hall collecting your money: Gary Carreiro.
Carreiro officially began his new role as Dartmouth’s Town Collector on Dec. 3, just in time for the busy 2019 tax collection season. While he does have big shoes to fill — he replaces retired Town Collector Deborah Piva — he already has years of experience at his job and in Dartmouth.
The Bishop Stang High School graduate studied finance and accounting at UMass Dartmouth before launching his career in the private sector.
Fresh out of college, he first worked at Fleet Capital Corporation in Providence before joining Textron. But he soon realized something was missing working in corporate America: Face to face interaction with people.
“I got a lot of experience in the private industry, but I didn’t really feel I wanted to sit behind a cubical the rest of my life and not have interaction with the public,” Carreiro said.
In 2000, an assistant treasurer position opened in Fall River, and he jumped on it. He served the city for seven years before leaving to become Marion’s Treasurer-Collector in 2007.
“I enjoyed being out there with the public, knowing that the decisions you make in municipal government at the local level really affects people’s lives,” Carreiro said. “Mainly not in the Collector’s office, but as far as decisions being made at higher levels: The Board of Selectmen, City Council.”
In Marion, Carreiro learned one of the most important lessons of his career: No matter the town, there are always people struggling to make ends meet. Carreiro worked hard to make sure his department was always able to provide payment plans and other support for those who need it.
“I think a lot of people have the concept that because you’re in a wealthier community, that things are much easier, but those issues and struggles still happen across the board in every community, I think,” Carreiro said.
After more than a decade of service to Marion, he applied to the vacant Town Collector position in Dartmouth owing to the closeness to his home in Westport. Piva, Dartmouth’s previous Town Collector, retired after 32 years at the helm of the department.
He will miss the community in Marion — he noted in his time he’s come to recognize many of the people he’s helped behind the counter as family.
As Dartmouth’s Town Collector, he will oversee the collection of numerous bills and taxes, including 15,000 real estate tax bills, 11,000 water and sewer bills, 38,000 motor vehicle excise tax bills, and 10,000 trash bills. Unlike in other communities, Carreiro also oversees and safeguards all of the town’s money.
With his new position, he hopes to continue efforts implemented by his predecessor, from the department’s Invoice Cloud online payment system, to working with the public in need on things like payment plans.