AUGUSTA — An improved revenue picture in Maine may mean social service cuts won’t be as deep as feared.

A report Tuesday by Maine Revenue Services says state tax collections are nearly $51 million higher than anticipated. Adding in an unanticipated $27 million in federal Medicare money, the revenue shortfall is now lowered to $360 million.

Gov. John Baldacci will submit a revised budget package reflecting the new revenue estimates next week.

Meanwhile, a new survey by Portland polling firm Market Research shows consumers remain glum about the economy. Forty-five percent of Mainers say they are worse off than a year ago, while only 22 percent of the 401 people polled expect to be better off in the next year.

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