Troy citizens handily defeated the city’s request for a tax increase by a nearly 2-to-1 vote margin Tuesday.

The millage, which called for a 1.9 mill increase for five years, was voted down 12,631 to 7316, with 63 percent of the vote against it, according to unofficial results posted on the city’s Web site just after midnight. The millage would have generated $37.7 million over five years, according to the city. By defeating the millage, the citizens saved $196 on the average Troy tax bill.

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“People were totally convinced that a massive tax hike in this horrible economy was bad for Troy working families,” said Glenn Clark, a Troy activist. “People are fighting mad.”

The anti-millage group Troy Citizens United mounted a campaign to defeat the millage. They had a Web site and held forums in coffee shops, local churches and a local college.

“I was afraid the city with its big machine was going to win,” said Janice Daniels of Troy Citizens United.

Troy City Manager John Szerlag said last week that if the millage failed, he would recommend closing the library.

Daniels gave a warning to any city council members who voted to close the library.

“When they do that, the first person who votes for that, I will have a recall petition for immediately,” she said.

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Detroit Prep is a top-rated and economically and racially diverse charter school in the city. It's growth means it needs to move out from a church basement and into a new location. Nearby is a former Detroit Public Schools building, sitting empty for years. But, worried about competition, the public school district refused to sell. For years, district and local government officials in Detroit had worked to block public charter schools. They pushed legislation at the Michigan Capitol to hinder them, refused to sell to them, transferred surplus buildings from the district to the city government and imposed deed restrictions on property sales to private developers. All of it was aimed to hinder or even prevent charter school choice outside the confines of the Detroit school district.

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