NYSSA — The Malheur County Court has lent its support to a request by Field Fresh Foods for five years of property tax exemptions on new construction and new equipment it is putting into place for a onion handling plant in Nyssa. The court adopted a resolution Wednesday approving the company’s application for five years of tax abatement.
The company plans to be involved in preliminary processing of onions and, according to its enterprise zone application, will be employing at least 25 people at the Nyssa location on Commercial Avenue, formerly occupied by Golden West Produce.
In the Enterprise Zone Application, the company says it is investing $3.2 million in the facility and will provide wages that will be 130% of the county average wage of $37,796, Malheur County Economic Development Director Greg Smith said, adding that works out an average wage of $49,135.
The Malheur County Enterprise Zone is sponsored by the cities of Ontario, Nyssa and Vale, as well as the county, and normally the governing bodies of all four entities need to approve a request for tax exemption more than three years, but in this case, since only Nyssa is being impacted by the development, only the court and the Nyssa City Council need to sign off on the application.
The City Council will act on the proposal at its Aug. 11 meeting, Nyssa City Recorder Marla Roberts confirmed.
Being in the Enterprise Zone provides property tax abatement on new construction and new equipment, which the company requested for five years. The tax abatement does not include the land.
As part of the agreement, Field Fresh Foods will donate 10% of the forgiven tax as a donation to 4-H and FFA programs.