Manlove clarifies tax freeze; no tangibles

Manlove clarifies tax freeze; no tangibles

SMITHFIELD – Tax Assessor Drew Manlove says while the town’s senior tax freeze ordinance needs updates, he is not recommending abolishing or adjusting its tax benefits.

Manlove’s comments on the ordinance needing an update, reported by The Valley Breeze & Observer last week, caused a stir. Manlove said his role as tax assessor is to inform and educate elected officials about the decisions it makes, and how those decisions affect taxpayers.

He said he would like to see the council have better explanations of how tax benefits and freezes work, and to better explain its processes to the public. Manlove explained at the Jan. 5 council meeting that tax freezes do not cost the town money, but the savings afforded through a freeze are paid by other taxpayers.

A breakdown of tax freeze costs is available on the town’s website,

Manlove said that in some cases, the justification for these added costs to other taxpayers is not self-evident.

“That was the purpose of my presentation, with the addition of pointing out administrative issues with the tax freeze specifically,” he said.

He added that his role as the assessor is to say who should get benefits and who should not according to existing town ordinances.

In response to a comment on the Jan. 6 article about his presentation to the council, Manlove explained that there is no “tangible tax freeze” for businesses. Rather, the town enters into tax agreements for a handful of larger businesses, Fidelity and Rubius Therapeutics for example, to make bringing business to Smithfield a more profitable venture.

Business tax agreements range from covering real estate taxes to property taxes or both, Manlove said. All are negotiated with the town in an attempt to bring business in.

Manlove explained that “tangible” is used to describe any personal property, and he does not know of a “tangible tax freeze” in Smithfield.

Recently the Town Council gave tax breaks to local restaurants on licensing fees to help them cope with closures due to the pandemic.



By Dawn Rosenberg McKay
Dawn Rosenberg McKay, Career Planning Specialist
Updated April 19, 2019

A tax assessor evaluates the monetary worth of multiple properties in an entire neighborhood. The purpose of their assessments is to determine how much property tax owners should pay to the city, county, or other municipality in which the properties are located.

A tax assessor is an elected or appointed government official. This occupation is closely related to real estate appraisers, which involves evaluating one property at a time to determine its value, usually for a bank or mortgage company.
Tax Assessor Job Description

Tax assessors typically carry out the following job duties:

Determine how properties are used and assign classifications based on that
Prepare valuation schedules for entire neighborhoods
Maintain a database of all properties in their jurisdiction
Maintain property maps
Defend the accuracy of their assessments when owners challenge them
Notify taxpayers annually of the classification and market value of their properties
Answer owners' property tax questions
Inspect residential properties to look for changes that would affect market value, including improvements or deterioration
Gather, edit, and sort property sales data


Tax Assessors appraise real and personal property to determine its fair value. May assess taxes in accordance with prescribed schedules. They also inspect new construction and major improvements to existing structures to determine values.

Other tasks include:

Determine taxability and value of properties, using methods such as field inspection, structural measurement, calculation, sales analysis, market trend studies, and income and expense analysis.
Prepare and maintain current data on each parcel assessed, including maps of boundaries, inventories of land and structures, property characteristics, and any applicable exemptions.
Explain assessed values to property owners and defend appealed assessments at public hearings.
Identify the ownership of each piece of taxable property.
Calculate tax bills for properties by multiplying assessed values by jurisdiction tax rates.
Inspect properties, considering factors such as market value, location, and building or replacement costs to determine appraisal value.