Friday Facts: December 1, 2023

You did not receive an email from us on Tuesday. You’re welcome 🙂

In all seriousness, between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, etc. we know it’s been exhausting opening your email inbox over the past week or so. We get it. We didn’t want to increase your frustrations.

But it does take money to run our organization. And we don’t receive a dime from the government. Every dollar we receive is from supporters like you. 

Because of your tax-deductible donation, we will be able to continue fighting for expanded educational options for children in Georgia, for lower taxes for all, for solutions that will make housing affordability a reality, for the removal of regulations that limit your access to healthcare or your ability to start a career. The list goes on.

We are able to support this work with high-caliber reports that are widely read at the Capitol; through events that bring in national experts; with polling on issues that matter; and through platforms like Friday Facts. In fact, we send this email out 50 times a year, only taking a break for Christmas and Independence Day.

In honor of that, we are humbly asking you to donate $1 for each Friday Facts email this year, or $50. This will help us continue delivering Friday Facts every week – and doing all of the other vital work of the Foundation. In fact, if every reader of the Friday Facts chipped in $50, it would fund our entire operation for the year! That goes to show the breadth of Friday Facts’ reach – and how well the Foundation stewards its donors’ hard-earned money.

From all of us at the Foundation, thank you for your continued support. We urge you to consider a tax-deductible donation today. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the rest of Friday Facts. As always, we have the latest news and analysis from the last week, including:

  • Gas tax suspension has ended in Georgia
  • Senate study committee recommends repeal of Certificate of Need laws
  • Online shoppers set a new record on Black Friday
  • The latest Census and IRS data shows that people (and businesses) continue to move to low- or no-tax states

Have a great weekend,

– Kyle Wingfield

Friday’s Freshest

6 reasons to empower Georgia parents

Three states that border Georgia – North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida — now have universal or near-universal education savings accounts (ESAs) which allow parents to use the funds associated with their child’s education to choose the right educational setting for their child. Georgia came close to adopting a limited ESA program last year, and that issue will return for the 2024 session. 

A review of Georgia’s college and career academies

As the popularity of college and career academies grows, the Foundation released a new report on the data available on success metrics such as college credits and dual enrollment. The study also offers future recommendations.

Home affordability lags in Georgia because of too little supply

Home affordability lags in Georgia (and elsewhere) because of too little supply. The exact size of the shortage is debatable, but here’s a reference point: Georgia added about as many homes between 2010 and 2019 as it did between 1995 and 1999, despite welcoming 2 million new residents in between.

There is wisdom in the past

Americans are accustomed by now to hearing, and maybe even believing, that the stakes are higher than ever. But is it true this time? During a recent visit to our nation’s capital, the tone was markedly more worried than usual.

Not just hospitals: Georgia CON laws also limit medical technologies

Athens’ University Cancer and Blood Center (UCBC) would like to add a PET scanner, but a Georgia law known as Certificate of Need stands in its way. The law prevents healthcare providers from adding this and other kinds of equipment without first getting state approval. 

The Latest


Eight electric vehicle related companies moving to Duluth

Hyundai’s work on a new electric vehicle plant near Savannah in 2025 means the company’s logistics arm is also expanding its presence in Gwinnett County. Hyundai Glovis is one of eight companies in the electric vehicle industry that are moving into the Satellite Place office complex near the former Gwinnett Place Mall.

Georgia technical colleges launch platform for employers, job seekers

The Technical College System of Georgia has launched an online labor exchange platform to connect Georgians looking for jobs with potential employers. The platform is part of WorkSource Georgia, the state’s employment and training system, designed to connect skilled individuals with job opportunities. 

Weather, prices have been a damper for southwest Georgia’s 2023 cotton crop

It’s been a tough year for the state’s farmers weather-wise, and the cotton harvest that is winding down for the year in southwest Georgia is a part of that sad reality. Despite the challenges of a cool, wet spring and a blazing hot summer, the crop for 2023 turned out “pretty good” for the year, farmers say. 

Government accountability

Georgia Senate committee recommends removing Certificate of Need mandate

A Georgia Senate study committee has recommended lawmakers repeal the state’s certificate of need mandate. In making the recommendation, state lawmakers pointed to South Carolina, which recently repealed its CON mandate. Georgia lawmakers plan to use the Palmetto State’s approach as a model for potential legislation next year.

Georgia’s gasoline tax break has ended

Georgia drivers are likely to begin paying higher prices for gasoline and diesel as state motor fuel taxes returned on Thursday. Gov. Brian Kemp’s rollback of the state taxes of 31.2 cents per gallon of gasoline and 35 cents per gallon of diesel ended at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

South Fulton business owner frustrated after waiting months on zoning upgrades to run daycare

Kelia Smith has been waiting since March for zoning upgrades for a home to allow her to operate her daycare in an area of South Fulton that has several other home daycares. In October, the zoning commission rejected her application and she had to re-apply. Now, the decision has to go before the council before getting approved. 


Housing market has ‘big hole’ to dig out of

After a few years of recurring obstacles in the real estate industry, homebuyers are being presented with another challenge: a housing inventory shortage. chief economist Danielle Hale said they expect to see a home construction uptick of 0.4% next year.

Cobb approves changing hotel to apartments

Over objections from the Mableton City Council, the Cobb Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a request to redevelop a shuttered hotel into a 90- to 95-unit apartment building near I-20 in Mableton. The proposal would convert the closed 103-room Wingate hotel near Six Flags into affordable housing for veterans.

Local developers propose additional homes in new Columbia County subdivision

Developers want to add several dozen more homes to a Columbia County subdivision built around Wrights Farm. This is an example of an “agrihood” – an emerging type of suburban development designed to evoke the feel of rural living by constructing amenities such as gardens and greenhouses that the residents can help maintain. 


Electric cars and driving range: Here’s what to know

Many people considering an electric vehicle are turned off by their prices or the paucity of public charging stations. But the biggest roadblock often is “range anxiety”—the fear of getting stuck on a desolate road with a dead battery. All EVs carry window stickers stating how far they should go on a full charge. Yet these range estimates can be wrong in either direction.

Residents say transportation plans do not address Rincon’s most pressing traffic concerns

To tackle issues within Effingham County’s transportation system, the Georgia Department of Transportation is considering spending millions on improvements to the county’s roadways, but some residents say the proposed improvements do not cover their most pressing needs.

Busiest holiday travel season in nearly 20 years

Airport authorities reveal that this holiday season is witnessing the highest number of flyers since 2005. At Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, officials projected more than 3.6 million passengers journeyed through the airport during the week of Thanksgiving.


Americans are still fleeing high-tax states

When deciding what people value when deciding where to live, work and raise a family, the latest IRS and Census data show that people and businesses favor states with low and structurally sound tax systems. This then impacts the state’s economic growth and governmental coffers.

Black Friday online sales reach record level

Online shoppers who took advantage of Black Friday spent enough with retailers to set a new record this year, according to Adobe Analytics. The company said online Black Friday shopping sales came in at $9.8 billion. It climbed 7.5% from the total that Black Friday online shoppers forked over in 2022.

IRS won’t come after you for selling your Taylor Swift tickets

The IRS will once again postpone enforcement of a new provision in the tax code that requires online sellers to report as little as $600 in annual income. So if you sold Taylor Swift concert tickets this year, congrats: the feds won’t come after you for not giving them a cut.

Quotes of the Week

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

“Pain and suffering are a kind of currency passed from hand to hand until they reach someone who receives them but does not pass them on.” – Simone Weil

“Courage is knowing it might hurt, and doing it anyway. Stupidity is the same. And that’s why life is hard.” – Jeremy Goldberg

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