Property values in Harris County, Texas, are expected to rise 4.54% in 2012 based on preliminary figures from the Harris County Appraisals District.

The final valuation will be certified in August, after homeowners have the opportunity to protest valuations they will receive in May.

The higher valuations could mean an increase of $21 million in Houston’s property tax revenue in fiscal 2013.

The increase comes after a 2% increase in property values in 2011. Harris County valuations were certified at $276 billion last year, an increase of $5.5 billion from 2010.

Chief appraiser Jim Robinson said more than half the 2011 increase came from commercial real estate values.

Demand was strong for office buildings, chemical plants and oil refineries, he said.

Residential increases were damped by foreclosures and a drop in new home construction, Robinson said. 

Houston officials said revenues from the sales tax were up almost 11% in the first seven months of fiscal 2012.

The increase was double that expected when the city’s current budget was developed.

Statewide property values totaled $1.67 trillion in 2011, an increase of 1% from 2010.

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