For Ontario car wash, hopes of a tax break from Malheur County end in stunning denial

Greg Smith, Malheur County's economic development director, on Aug. 8, 2019, formally rejected Bluebird Express Car Wash's application for tax exemption. The company requested the exemption more than nine months earlier. (The Enterprise/File)

ONTARIO – John Braese dropped by Bluebird Express Car Wash in Ontario on a Thursday afternoon, bearing bad news.

An assistant in the Malheur County Economic Development Department, Braese tracked down the car wash manager to report that the business wasn’t eligible for the money-saving county tax break it had been counting . . .