Keith Faber believes that state lawmakers didn’t do enough to aid small businesses in the most recent two-year state budget. The Senate president pushed to include in the mid-biennium review a provision that would increase for next year the income-tax deduction for businesses from 50 percent on annual income up to $250,000 to 75 percent. He described the measure to the Columbus Dispatch as “solid and targeted” to create jobs and expand the state economy.

What has the 50 percent deduction delivered? As Zach Schiller of Policy Matters Ohio points out, the state has not seen a surge of new jobs. The rate of job growth in the state since last summer has been slower than the previous year. Ohio has lagged behind the country as a whole, a 0.8 percent increase compared to 1.4 percent.

Calculations show that the average tax relief under the 50 percent deduction has been $730, or hardly an amount that reflects the investment needed to create jobs. One argument has been that business owners haven’t yet taken full advantage. Another, as voiced by Faber, is the tax cut must be larger. Neither tracks fully in the moment. A state without sufficient data shouldn’t rush into an expansion of the idea.

In all, the state Senate approved an additional $400 million in tax relief. The final amount won’t be resolved until the House and Senate reconcile their differences in a conference committee, and Gov. John Kasich signs the bill. Two elements do represent advances. One provision would increase the personal exemption under the income tax for those households with annual earnings of $80,000 or less. The other expands the state Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor from 5 percent of the federal credit to 10 percent.

Unfortunately, the state credit would remain nonrefundable, and thus would fail to help those who are most needy among the eligible.

If anything, that failing highlights a continuing theme of Statehouse Republicans and their pursuit of deeper income tax cuts. The Senate version would accelerate implementation of a reduction in income tax rates approved last summer. As Policy Matters Ohio notes, taken together, the tax changes would heavily favor wealthier households. The top 5 percent, with incomes above $151,000, would reap half of the benefits.

One contention is that the state is better served returning money to Ohioans than allowing it to remain in the hands of government. Yet the government isn’t some dark, alien force.

It is the creation of Ohioans, and a tool for serving their interests, albeit in different ways, pooling resources to invest in such things as education, health care, public works and other items that expand jobs and opportunity.

Look around, and such priorities are far from flush in Ohio, signaling that there are better policy choices than more tax cuts.