HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania senator says he will introduce legislation to provide financial assistance when communities are affected by a power plant closure.

State Sen. John DiSanto (R-Dauphin/Perry) said under his proposal, the Department of Community and Economic Development would make grants available to localities that experience a reduction of at least 20 percent in property tax collections and payments in lieu of taxes received by a power plant.

Eligible communities would be able to apply for relief for four years. Initial awards may be up to 80 percent of the tax loss in the first year, 60 percent in the second year, 40 percent in the third year, and 20 percent in the fourth and final year.

DiSanto said offering temporary relief would give school districts and municipalities additional time to replace tax shortfalls.

“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,” DiSanto said in a statement.

“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.”

DiSanto said Dauphin County, Londonderry Township and the Lower Dauphin School District combined receive about $1.5 million annually in real estate taxes and payments in lieu of taxes from Exelon, the owner and operator of Three Mile Island.