This couple had moved from here from west Texas and settled in Lake Ozark.
The woman had used Google to do some research and set some search parameters that included a lake, proximity to a college town and low taxes – and Lake of the Ozarks was what they came up with. I had to chuckle at that thought, and suggested they write a letter to the editor about how they moved here because of the low taxes.
I had opportunity to meet a married, retired couple Monday, and while we were in the process of carrying my family’s old coach and love seat out the door so someone new could use our well-loved furniture, we talked the small talk strangers often do while engaged in some task.
Turns out they had moved here 5 years ago, and I asked them how they came to settle at the lake.
It is a question I’ve asked often over the last two decades simply because I’ve always been interested in HOW someone came to call Lake of the Ozarks home.
I’ve never gotten an answer that wasn’t interesting.
Turns out this couple had moved from here from west Texas and settled in Lake Ozark.
The woman had used Google to do some research and set some search parameters that included a lake, proximity to a college town and low taxes – and Lake of the Ozarks was what they came up with.
I had to chuckle at that thought, and suggested they write a letter to the editor about how they moved here because of the low taxes.
They looked genuinely surprised when I said some people here constantly carp and complain about how high their taxes are, especially at assessment time.
I’ve heard from other people who have been shocked at how low are taxes are here in Missouri and the counties around the lake.
The gentleman said his taxes in El Paso had gone from $4,200 a year to more than $10,000 by the time he retired. He told me what he was paying in Lake Ozark, but I don’t remember the exact amount; I guess I was ‘wowing’ having to pay 10 grand in taxes. Suffice it to say, his taxes here are substantially less than what he had been paying.
Were they glad they moved here?, I asked.
Absolutely, they said.
Turns out they have a daughter who lives up near Boonville, but that wasn’t what brought them to the area. It was the beauty of Lake of the Ozarks, its services and quality of life, and its low taxes.
I’ve heard those same or similar answers time and time again and I never tire of asking the question because I always enjoy hearing the personal stories that brought people here.
I often get asked how I came to live here. For me personally, it was a job opportunity with this paper, I answer. But I liked the area so much I stayed, and that is the truth.
That, and the many people like the couple I met Monday morning, picking up an old couch so they could put new cushion covers on it and give it to their neighbor to use.
The woman asked me if it was $35 we wanted for the pair. Somewhat surprised, I answered no, my wife and I just wanted to give it to someone who could use it. While it was used, it was still nicer than some couches I had owned earlier in my life.
When they told me he was a man who had worked hard all his life and was now a little down on his luck due to battling cancer, I felt a little guilty that old couch and love seat were worn down and wished they were newer, but I was glad to have found someone who can use it.
I felt grateful to have found someone who had the time - and the willingness – to make it a little better for someone else. That, more than most anything else, defines the kind of people who call Lake of the Ozarks home.
Contact Lake Sun editor David Schiefelbein at firstname.lastname@example.org