Friday, November 30, 2007

Late Fall Lake Ozark

Here we are in Lake Ozark again. We came here on Tuesday. It was a super day to be out and about. Didn't quite make it to 60, but we had 58. For late November thats just not too bad. Sunny all day but of course it gets dark by 5:00. Makes the day seem so short, and it is but its OK while it lasts. Peel off the coat and do the shirt sleeves for a while.

The lake of the Ozarks is just so beautiful at this time of the year. There is hardly any boat traffic on the water, save for an occasional fisherman that is bundled up to stand the water temperature. Even though the air makes it up to 60 the water is cold and stays that way.

You always hold your breath when you first arrive here, as you just never know what you will find as you open the door. Has the water broken loose, and been running for weeks? Is there a raccoon in the living room, that has made his winter home here. The gremlins are in your mind all the way down here. But all was fine when we g0t here, other than the overstuffed mail box with junk stuff and newspapers. They mail the newspapers here in LO, as it just is not practical to have a delivery system in these hills around the lake.

Personal Property Tax. Ya Missouri still has this old fashioned tax. Mostly on cars and wheeled stuff. So anything that is licensed is taxed. Now in Iowa and Kansas, they still have PPT, but they just charge you when you buy your tags. So the tag is several hundred dollars. Not so in Mo. The tag is only 40 bucks or so, but you have to go to the court house and then declare the vehicle and pay the PPT separate. You then need the receipt, to go and get the tag from the license bureau. What a pain. The license bureau is run by private folks in each community. And is not part of the state, or county. Confused yet? So are we, and we have been trying to keep it all straight for years.

So in the afore mentioned mail box was a bill for the PPT but it was for 6 dollars! What about the big pontoon boat? We licensed the Pickup here in February so that is not due until next year, but the boat is due now.

So Wednesday was the day that all of this had to get fixed. First I needed tags for the trailer under the Jet Ski. It was licensed in Iowa, but since we do not have any Iowa property any more, it comes to Mo. Iowa does not issue titles for trailers, but all of the other states do, so we had to fight that through at the license bureau. And of course I had to have a PPT receipt for last years tax, even to talk to them. They looked it up on the computer. 38 bucks for three years. And they will mail a title. To the over full mailbox.

Tuscumbia, is a very old town on the Osage river, just below the Bagnell dam. It was a very viable town before the dam came in 1931. All river traffic just stopped when the dam was closed. They are the very last town before the dam, and no one comes up the river any more, as they can't go past the dam. It died on the vine! But it is still our county seat and has an old court house that was built in the 1800s some time.

The folks there live from providing services to the rest of the prosperous parts of the county. They even built a new court house, with our taxes. The old one is to become a bed and breakfast. Not too sure that anyone will need to spend the night in Tuscumbia, but If you just want to connect with the 1920's then it may be just fine. Off the beaten path is an understatement. Well enough of my attitudes.

I went to the PPT assessor's office in the New Court house and they blamed me for not telling them that I had the Pontoon! But the form was filled out by one of them the last time I went over there to try and straighten out this mess. True, I did sign it at the bottom, but the writing on the rest of the form was not mine. I assume they filed it out and said sign here. But then thats why I am here, is to fix this! I am "honest" or I would just pay the 6 dollars and move on!

After an hour of time in front of two windows and 300 dollars of tax money for their coffers, I left with a paid property tax receipt. That is gold, as you can not register anything or get any license tag without it. Missouri! Ya gotta love it!

So now it is Friday and we will leave to go back to Kansas City this afternoon. Set the heat down to 50 and stop off the water. Just in case the heat fails. Its electric resistance (expensive) but at least you do not rely on a pilot light or an ignition system. The tank is always full, unless the electric company cuts you off. So we probably will not be back for some time.

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