Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) pays it, but he doesn't like it. Rep. James P. Johnson (R-Colo.) has never paid, doesn't intend to and is ignoring the whole business. Rep. Richard Ichord (D-Mo.) would rather fight all the way to the Supreme Court than pay. And Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) won't even discuss it.

The subject is the maryland income tax and the state's insistence - in the face of vehement objections and even a 1977 federal law - that members of Congress living in Maryland must pay.

The most recent shot in this continuing tax war was fired by the U.S. Department of Justice, which filed suit last week on behalf of Congress to stop Maryland from collecting the tax from members who live in Maryland but represent other states.

To that, officials in the Maryland comptroller's office say: "We are not changing our policy until the Supreme Court tells us we can no longer collect it."

Maryland's neighbors, Virginia and the District of Columbia, grant members of Congress an outright exemption from state and local income taxes. Maryland never has, and every time its tax computers spit out the name of a congressmen who hasn't paid, congressional feathers start to fly.

Rep. Olin Teague (D-Tex.) said he first got a letter in 1972 telling him he owed the taxes, and finally in 1977, when he "got tired of fidding with it," he paid the state about $11,000.

Teague, whose home state does not have an income tax, said he objected because the Maryland schools, when his children were attending, had him sign a statement that he was not a Maryland resident so they could receive federal impact funds for education. When it comes to income taxes, "they say I am a resident. The state wants it both ways."

Now Teague wants his money back. He wrote to the Justice Department asking that the suit be filed. The lawsuit includes a petition for a court order that would force Maryland to refund any back taxes paid by congressmen representing other states.

Sen. Church, who according to an aide "pays the Maryland tax, but doesn't like it," supports the lawsuit, too. He objects to the tax because he represents Idaho, pays income taxes there and views the Maryland action as "double taxation," the aide said.

Maryland officials say, however, that no one is doubly taxed because members of Congress are given credit for any taxes paid in their home state. If the home state's taxes are equal to or greater than Maryland's, a Congressman living in Maryland pays no additional taxes.

Rep. Clarence Brown (R-Ohio), however, sees a different problem with the Maryland tax. He is troubled by Maryland wanting to tax both his congressional income and his business income from Ohio, where he is a newspaper publisher and where he already pays income taxes.

He also wonders how he can be termed a resident of two states and taxed for income in both. "If I'm supposed to a resident (of Maryland) shouldn't I be allowed to vote in election?" he asked.

Brown paid his Maryland income tax for 1976 after he said he was notified, for the first time since moving there, that he owed the tax.

He said he had refused to pay in prior years because he was never told of the state policy.

An aide to Sen. Howard Cannon (D-Nev.) whose home state does not impose an income tax, said Cannon is on record as opposing payment of the Maryland tax and "it's not the kind of thing we'd have a statement on." The aide said it is a "moot point" whether or not Cannon has ever paid the taxes since Congress passed the law last year giving all members an exemption.

Both of Maryland's senators have strongly opposed the 1977 federal law and the Maryland comptroller's office has refused to obey it. The new Justice Department lawsuit seems the best hope for solving the impasse, both sides say.

"I think it's the only proper way to settle the issue," said Rep. Brown. Marvin Bond, in the Maryland comptroller's office, agrees.

"Besides, the congressmen, just like anybody else don't like publicity about not paying taxes," he said, "so maybe we'll turn out in better shape than before."