Drivers in North Texas who use the toll roads will start paying an even higher price.

The North Texas Tollway Authority announced that they will raise the toll rates on July 1 by 1-19 cents per mile for those with a TollTag, and roughly 50 percent more for those who don’t have a TollTag.

This won’t be the last rate increase. NTTA is on a schedule of regularly raising the toll every two years, and this will continue for the foreseeable future. Why? Because of the over $9.25 billion dollars in debt that the NTTA has incurred, which was used for “roads and fund improvements” in North Texas—debt that drivers must pay by paying a road tax, otherwise called tolls.

What’s more, this money is not being used exclusively for roads, as is seen in the case with the Sam Rayburn Tollway. That toll is actually a tax for the North Texas Council of Governments, an organization which controls all government funding for transportation across the region. The NTTA paid the NTCOG $3.2 billion to build Sam Rayburn Tollway, even though it only cost $700 million to build.

Why the huge gap? To finance projects unrelated to the toll road, such as a $1 million “sustainability program” for trees.

Until then, drivers in North Texas can look forward to higher and higher tolls for years to come.

Robert Montoya

A former filmmaker, University of North Texas graduate, and one-time assistant language teacher, Robert Montoya misses Japan and the 1980s. He is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard.