DeLand-area lawyer Tanner Andrews bought his first home, here in Volusia County, more than 20 years ago. It did not take long for him to receive his first property-tax notice.
That got his attention. While the amount may seem small compared to today's tax bills, salaries were also smaller back then. It didn't take so many dollars to constitute a 20-percent tax increase.
It has just gotten worse since then. Every year, taxes have gone up much faster than anyone outside of government could imagine.
The problem, as Andrews sees it, is that too few people know what is going on inside their own governments. People just pay and forget — hoping the money won't be wasted.
And the officials prefer it that way. If no one asks questions, if no one demands records, the tax money can quietly disappear. Officials grow fat, lazy and arrogant; they feel entitled to feed at the public trough.
Yet officials will behave better if they know someone is watching. Andrews writes his column so that the bureaucrats know someone is watching. If they don't like it, they are free to behave better and deprive Andrews of things to write about.
Somehow, that particular danger does not scare him.