Prenzler holds a press conference outside the Madison County Administration building.

Republican candidate for Madison County Treasurer Kurt Prenzler called on sitting Treasurer Frank Miles to return campaign donations received from tax buyers.

Prenzler called the campaign contributions "tainted money."

Miles did not respond to requests for comment.

The Treasurer's office has come under fire recently over property tax auction practices under the direction of former Treasurer Fred Bathon.

An investigation by the Belleville News-Democrat revealed that during the end of Bathon's administration, tax buyers were being awarded predominantly an 18 percent rate, the highest rate allowed by law.

Delinquent tax payers are charged the penalty by investors who purchase tax debt at auction.

The News-Democrat reporterd that Bathon had accepted more than $140,000 in campaign contributions from tax buyers during his tenure as treasurer. Bathon resigned last December and Miles was appointed to fill his vacancy.

A press release issued by Prenzler stated that Miles has accepted more than $20,000 in campaign contributions from tax buyers.

He said that if he were elected, he would use automatic tax auction software to eliminate possible conflicts of interest.

"I can assure you that this is not Republican vs. Democrat," he said in a statement. "It is right vs. wrong."

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