Bill to help communities impacted financially by power plant shut downs

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A State Senator is trying to financially help communities impacted by power plant shutdowns. His bill is being introduced about 5 months before Three Mile Island in Dauphin County is set to close.

As time ticks down, Dauphin County Commissioner Mike Pries says, one thing is known if the power plant shuts down.

"The impact would be quite significant," said Pries.

Pries says the impact would be a loss of 675 full time jobs, which equals about $60 million in annual pay roll. Dauphin County, Londonderry Township and Lower Dauphin School District would also lose more than $1 million every years.

"This is my attempt to help my municipalities," said State Sen. John DiSanto as he talks about legislation he will propose. In preparation for Three Mile Island's shutdown, he will propose a bill to financially help communities that would take a big financial hit when a power plant closes.

"My concern is with the townships," said DiSanto. "Because they are going to have a significant impact on their budgets within the next year."

DiSanto says his bill would provide a sliding scale to transition from loss of revenue. Eligible communities would get relief for tax loss through state grants for four years:

  • Year 1: 80% of the tax loss
  • Year 2: 60% of the tax loss
  • Year 3: 40% of the tax loss
  • Year 4: 20% of the tax loss

"So I think the state can participate in transitioning them to give them a soft landing," said DiSanto.

He says another part of why he's planning to introduce this bill is because he does not support using tax payer dollars to bailout an industry.

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