The Montgomery County Toll Road Authority board—composed of Montgomery County commissioners—unanimously approved a $7.3 million budget for fiscal year 2022-23 Sept. 27 that saw projected increases to collections revenue as well as increased maintenance and operations costs.

In EZ Tag revenue alone, the system is expected to bring in $11.4 million, a 41% increase from FY 2021-22, when $8.1 million was anticipated for collections. Projected collections on the system have increased since 2019-20.

MCTRA operations manager Robert Castañeda told Community Impact in a Sept. 29 email that more traffic interactions on the toll road system contributed to both the increased collections and the increased maintenance fees.

“As transactions/traffic increase, so do our maintenance activity requirements and the cost to provide a safe, clean, well-maintained system,” Castañeda said.

Usage of the MCTRA toll road system also increases the amount the authority must pay to the Harris County Toll Road Authority, which manages the MCTRA electronic collections through an interlocal agreement. The MCTRA is set to pay $1.35 million to the HCTRA in FY 2022-23, an 8.5% increase from the $1.25 million paid in FY 2021-22.

Castañeda did not immediately have the amount of interactions the toll road authority recorded in the previous fiscal year. The authority’s financial report for FY 2020-21 cited an uptick of revenue stemming from the completion and opening of a segment of Hwy. 249 in 2021.

The final stretch of the highway is expected to be complete in 2023, Community Impact previously reported.

The complete MCTRA FY 2022-23 budget can be viewed below. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1.