Malheur County lured company to Ontario with tax break promise, then doesn’t deliver

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Greg Smith, Malheur County economic development director, issued a statement after publication of this story and updates reflect his comments.

ONTARIO – John Fery’s company broke ground on a $4.5 million car wash last November, motivated by Malheur County’s promise that his business would owe no property taxes for five years.

That was no small promise.

Based on county records, Bluebird Express Car Wash could avoid about $335,000 in taxes over five years.

Such incentives help lure new businesses to . . .