Friday’s Freshest: Georgia, like much of the nation, faces a severe housing shortage. Build-to-rent homes may offer a solution, but why are some Georgia communities trying to ban them? This week’s commentary features Brian Hodges and Sam Speigelman of the Pacific Legal Foundation, along with Foundation Research Fellow Tyler Webb, as they explain the benefits of build-to-rent and efforts to oppose it.
Quotes of Note
“People will forgive you for being wrong, but they will never forgive you for being right – especially if events prove you right while proving them wrong.” –Thomas Sowell
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of the victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” –C.S. Lewis
“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” –Oscar Wilde
On Our Desks
What now? Learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic was quantified by the National Assessment of Educational Progress and has been covered by the Foundation. So, what’s next? That’s the elephant-in-the-classroom question posed by Dr. Benjamin Scafidi, director of the Education Economics Center in the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University and Foundation senior fellow. Dr. Scafidi’s commentary urges the state legislature and local public school bureaucracies to combat learning loss.
Kemp’s example: Brian Kemp won his re-election bid, outperforming other Georgia Republicans. In his weekly column, Kyle Wingfield takes a closer look at Cobb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties to explain the importance of margins in those counties. Kemp’s strong performance in the suburbs, combined with his dominance elsewhere, sets an example for future GOP campaigns.
Deep impact: The Foundation’s most recent study provides a comprehensive review of Georgia’s development impact fees. Impact fees are included in residential development costs and used to fund infrastructure growth. In his commentary, Research Fellow J.Thomas Perdue summarizes the new study and how impact fees can affect housing costs. This is the first part of our work on this topic, which we will follow up with additional research and publications. Access the full study here!
We’ve got issues: The Foundation’s 2022 Guide to the Issues is here! You can read J.Thomas Perdue’s commentary on the purpose and contents of this year’s edition here. Guide to the Issues is our biennial resource that outlines our positions and policy recommendations on pertinent topics. Access this year’s Guide here!
Save the date: The setting for the Foundation’s annual Georgia Freedom Dinner has been announced. The dinner will take place on Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Table sponsorships are available. Please contact us here for more information.
Gig ‘em: Norwegian battery developer FREYR Battery has announced plans to build a new facility, Giga America, at the Bridgeport Industrial Park site in Coweta County. According to the Newnan Times-Herald, they will invest $2.57 billion and expect to create 700 jobs in the next six years. Manufacturing operations are projected to start in 2025.
New threads: A global apparel company plans to spend $87 million on a Bryan County manufacturing and distribution facility, according to the Center Square. New Jersey-based Komar Brands expects to create 294 new jobs as a part of the project. The company plans to build its new facility at the 1,100-acre Interstate Centre 3 development located at U.S. Route 280 and Interstate 16 between Savannah and Statesboro.
Vouch-safe: The Atlanta City Council is considering a resolution that would increase the number of residential developments, both new and existing, accepting public housing vouchers, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting.. The resolution will be considered by the city’s housing and finance committees before a final vote from the city council next week. The plan asks developers using public money from the city or state to register with Atlanta housing and accept housing vouchers.
Georgia House Speaker David Ralston died Wednesday at 68, less than two weeks after he announced he was stepping down as speaker due to health concerns. As reported by the Associated Press, Ralston hoped to continue as a member of the House even after stepping down as speaker. Until the current legislative term ends in January, House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones will become speaker, as called for by the state constitution. She will be the first female speaker in Georgia history. Republicans nominated Jon Burns of Newington to replace Ralston when the newly elected General Assembly convenes Jan. 9, an effort at continuity supported by Ralston’s closest allies.
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