Howard Jarvis, the man who engineered the California property tax rebellion, will attempt to spread his version of the gospel on nationwide television tonight.

Jarvis' American Tax Reform Movement will spend an estimated $550,000 to show a half-hour "call to action" on 162 independent TV stations.

(The Jarvis show will be broadcast in the Washington area at 7:30 p.m. on WTTG, Channel 5.)

"There's no question about the intention," said Joesph J. Micciche, the Los Angeles public relations man who handled Jarvis' winning effort for approval of Proposition 13 in California last summer.

"It is a call to action to get the people to rise up and develop their own programs and to show their antagonism toward our present tax system," he said.

Micciche said most of the production expenses of tonight's show are being underwritten with money left over from the Proposition 13 campaign to cut state property taxes.

But, he added, Jarvis intends to make an appeal for money from viewers and, "based on the reaction . . . Mr. Jarvis undoubtedly will go on the air again."

Rebellions, of course, long have been a part of the American way, but the 76-year-old Jarvis may be the first of the insurgents to buy time on a national TV hookup to rouse the masses.

Tonight's show is the wrap-up of a national campaign, featuring Howard Jarvis at rallies in more than a dozen cities, to generate support for his tax reform movement.

Where it's all going is uncertain, but the American Tax Reform Movement has formed a political action committee that will allow it to contribute money to candidates for federal office. The committee is being listed as sponsor of tonight's show and the commercials are designed to elicit contributions to the group.

According to Micciche, the 30-minute show was filmed before a live audience in Los Angeles. It is interspersed with audience questions and a cartoon film that depicts the story of taxation from caveman times to today.

Jarvis will be assisted on the show by William Simon, secretary of the treasury during the Nixon and Ford administrations, who will endorse the Proposition 13 concept.

How about equal time for politicians who disagree with Jarvis? "I don't think they'd have much to say," said Micciche.