Several local taxpayers groups across Virginia are "finding out how each other thinks" as a preliminary step to possibly creating a statewide coalition to control government spending and taxes, according to Harley Williams, president of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance.

As evidence of Williams' remark. The Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance, a longtime critic of local government expansion and a proponent of tax reform, hosted a representative from a Lynchburg taxpayers group this week to hear that organization's position on government spending.

Even the busy Fairfax Board of Supervisors set aside 45 minutes of a chock-full. 12-hour meeting Monday to hear a presentation by J. W. Talbott of the Lynchburg-based Fair Taxes for Virginians. The board's action appeared to indicate the continuing effects set off by the Proposition 13 movement in California, notwithstanding the approach of an election year for the supervisors in which government spending and taxes are certain to be central issues.

"Remember when we used to call those people nuts?" said a country observer, referring to the Taxpayer's Alliance.

Talbott said has organization hopes to have introduced as a resolution into the General Assembly in January a "very simple concept": that state government not be allowed to grow faster than the economy's private sector.

The proposal, which the Lynchburg taxpayers' group wants adopted as a constitutional amendment, is one of several proposals on measures to control government spending that are being considered for introduction into the General Assembly.

Fair Taxes for Virginia proposes that state expenditures from state tax revenues in a fiscal year not exceed 6.5 percent of the total personal income in the state the previous year. (Currently the state takes about 6.5 percent of its citizens' personal income in taxes.) More spending would have to be authorized by a two-thirds vote of the General Assembly, the proposal states.

It also proposes that the state not require localities to provide programs and services unless the state funds them, and that the state continue to return to the localities the current 56 per cent of state tax dollars it receives.

"Since 1940, government has been growing more than twice as fast as our economy and three times as fast as the private sector. It uses nearly half of the national income to operate," Talbott told the supervisors, explaining his proposal to control government spending. "If this continues, we're going to pay more and more taxes with less to say about how it is spent."

Talbott said the proposal would not require a tax cut. He said it does not examine how tax revenues should be distributed in the state.

The supervisors directed county staff to analyze the proposal and prepare a response.