The District of Columbia had the second-highest per capita state and local tax burden in the nation in fiscal 1981, following only the much steeper burden of Alaska, according to a new report from the Commerce Clearing House.

Maryland and Virginia were significantly behind. The per capita state and local tax burden in Maryland was one-third lower than the District's. And Virginians pay even less to state and local authorities -- 47 percent lower on average than Washingtonians.

The report, based on the latest Census Bureau data, said that Washingtonians paid an average of $1,771 in taxes to local governments in fiscal 1981, up 20.1 percent from the average $1,475 paid in fiscal 1980. Alaskans carried a whopping per capita tax burden of $6,397 for the year.

According to the report, Maryland had a per capita state and local tax burden of $1,178 in fiscal 1981, up 6.7 percent from the average $1,104 paid the previous year.

Virginians paid an average of $946 in state and local taxes in fiscal 1981, up 10 1/2 percent from $856 the year earlier.

The District was well above the nationwide average, while Maryland and Virginia were below it. According to the Commerce Clearing House, Americans paid an average of $1,079 in state and local taxes in fiscal 1981, a jump of $92 a person from the previous period.

At the bottom of the scale, Arkansas had the lowest per capita tax--$678 for the year. Seven other states had tax burdens under $800.

The trend is up, the report indicated. Per-capita state and local tax burdens rose in every state in fiscal 1981; the year earlier, there had been decreases in seven states.

Overall, total state and local tax collections for fiscal 1981 were $244.5 billion, up 9.4 percent from the prior fiscal year. California was the leader again, bringing $29.8 billion in tax revenue into its state and local coffers.