The Washington area was, on the whole, rather badly served in the final votes on the tax bill. That tax bill was good legislation, containing important reforms, and it will leave the tax system much fairer than it was a week ago. Readers, particularly those who vote in Virginia, might usefully note the performance of the local Virginia Republicans who have been going on and on all year about the terrible federal deficit and the dire fate that awaits the republic if it goes uncorrected. Last week, they finally had a chance to do something about it -- something even more useful than sending out their general views in newsletters to their constituents. And what did they do? Well . . .

The Marylanders split. Sen. Charles McC. Mathias voted for it, as did Rep. Beverly Byron and Rep. Marjorie S. Holt. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, Rep. Michael D. Barnes and Rep. Steny Hoyer all opposed it.

In Virginia, both senators and both of the suburban congressmen -- Stanford E. Parris and Frank R. Wolf -- opposed it. Mr. Parris and Mr. Wolf in particular have been very vigorous in asserting the urgent need to cut the budget. That tax bill contained, among other things, the largest packageeof spending cuts on which Congress will vote this year -- and, in the final crucial roll call, both Mr. Parris and Mr. Wolf were against it. They were voting against reducing the deficit. You should keep that in mind as November approaches and you hear them once again telling you about the urgent need for large and courageous cuts in federal spending, etc., etc., etc.