Gov. Roy Cooper’s proposed budget would raise taxes from current law and guarantee additional tax increases in future years.

Based on current law, including $500 million in lower taxes, state government would have $25 billion available in the General Fund to spend, though $1.1 billion of that is nonrecurring money that cannot be counted on to fund ongoing operations. The $23.9 billion in expected tax collections is supplemented by a $491 million in lower spending, $357 million in higher revenue, and $275 million in reversions.

No matter, Gov. Cooper would repeal a portion of the tax cut, spend nearly everything available, and take on an additional $2 billion in new General-Fund-backed debt. After setting aside $500 million in reserves, most of which would be spent during the year, the budget plan adds $1.5 billion in recurring spending, or $500 million more than the recurring revenue the budget would make available.

Would the governor pay for that $500 million structural deficit with higher income taxes or higher sales taxes?