Business & economy

Baker County ends contract with Greg Smith’s company

BAKER CITY - Baker County’s three-member board of commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday morning to terminate the county’s contract with Gregory Smith & Company LLC for economic development services one year after the four-year pact took effect.

Commissioners cited as a reason a significant drop in revenue from the county’s lodging tax, 25% of which goes to economic development, as required by a county ordinance.

Baker County’s lodging tax revenue dropped from $625,000 in the 2016-17 fiscal year to $538,129 in 2017-18. The majority of that money is paid by guests at lodging establishments in Baker City.

The county is projecting a further drop in the lodging tax revenue, to $420,000, for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

County Commission Chairman Bill Harvey last week described this as a . . .