DiSanto Bill Offers Support to Communities Facing Power Plant Closures

HARRISBURG—State Senator John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry) announced today his forthcoming legislation which seeks to provide financial assistance to communities adversely impacted by a power plant closure within its jurisdiction.

Under DiSanto’s proposal, the Department of Community and Economic Development will make state grants available to localities that experience a reduction of at least 20% in property tax collections and payments in lieu of taxes received by a power plant. Eligible political subdivisions will be able to apply for temporary relief for a total of four years. Initial awards may be up to 80% of the demonstrated tax loss in year 1, 60% in year 2, 40% in year 3, and 20% in year 4.

When a power plant closes, there is significant disruption to the local community’s economy and tax base as these facilities are both major employers and taxpayers. By offering temporary relief for school districts and municipalities, local stakeholders will have additional time to replace tax shortfalls and transition, while lessening the immediate impact on schools and essential public services.

“Absent a massive consumer bailout of the nuclear industry, estimated at upwards of $500 million annually, Exelon intends to close its Three Mile Island nuclear facility later this year, and I am deeply concerned about the local impact that will be felt here in Dauphin County,” said DiSanto. “While I oppose burdening Pennsylvanians with costly subsidies for the benefit of big, highly profitable energy corporations, I believe we should support our local schools and municipalities through this challenging transition.

Dauphin County, Londonderry Township and the Lower Dauphin School District combined receive approximately $1.5 million annually in real estate taxes and payments in lieu of taxes from Exelon. In addition to these jurisdictions, others across the state with power plant closures would be eligible for this grant program. Funding would come from a budgetary appropriation by the General Assembly.

 

CONTACT: Chuck Erdman cerdman@pasen.gov (717) 787-6801