Texas officials estimate higher property values

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas comptroller's office has estimated higher statewide property values in a sign of a stronger economy.

The agency says statewide property values rose 1.3% last year, to reach $1.69 trillion. That compares to property values of $1.67 trillion in 2010.

The Austin American-Statesman reported Tuesday that Texas in 2010 suffered the first decline in statewide property values in 17 years.

State budget writers had anticipated another 1% decrease in 2011. School funding is based on local property taxes and state dollars.

Consultant Joe Wisnoski with Moak Casey & Associates says the difference could save Texas as much as $400 million by reducing its obligation to school districts.

Information from: Austin American-Statesman