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Sumter historic home to be auctioned, proceeds to benefit low-income tax clinic

The house on 403 West Calhoun St. in Sumter's historic district will be auctioned. Some of the proceeds will help a low-income tax clinic.

SUMTER, S.C. — Archie Parnell remembers admiring the home on 403 West Calhoun St. for years as he grew up in Sumter.

"I saw that house when I was going to school, I mean high school, and I liked it when I was a little kid. That was back in 1968," he recalled.

When Parnell got older, he bought it. Then, he purchased the properties beside it.

"It's an assemblage. That's a real estate term for putting multiple homes together," Vice President of Interluxe Stacy Kirk explained.

She's helping Parnell auction the home in Sumter's historic district. The building was built in the 1920s. Now, it'll be used for a good cause. 

"It’s just too much property for just two people," Parnell added.

Parnell, a tax attorney, is selling the house to the highest bidder. Parnell said some of his early memories involve his mother, who was an accountant and worked in tax returns. 

Some of the proceeds will go toward University of South Carolina School of Law, which is working to launch a low-income tax clinic according to Associate Professor Clinton Wallace. 

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"We see it as a great complement to our existing Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program that we run in advance of tax day each year (to help low-income people complete their tax returns)," Wallace wrote in an email to News 19. "Our timeline and specific plans for the clinic are still in the works."

The auction will begin at $500,000, and Kirk said she's unsure how high the bids will go.

"Properties can really take us by surprise for what they may sell for, for what they may not sell for," Kirk said. "For one individual that has true appreciation for historic property, it will have greater value. Perhaps to the other individual who’s just looking for housing and a place where they can live with their family, it’ll have a different value."

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However much the home sells for, Parnell says a portion of the money will go to USC's clinic.

"People don't like dealing with the IRS in disputes and they get quite stressed and worried about it, so I think it would be a nice thing to do for my mother and also a nice thing to do for low-income taxpayers, as well as students at the law school because they can have tactical education dealing with cases and dealing with real people instead of just reading law books," Parnell detailed. "They’re just confused and very stressed and get angry and all that so it’s just a much smoother process to get representation for free for people that fall within a certain income category."

The house will be open for viewing this weekend and the auction begins on Monday on Interluxe's website.

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