If you're mad as hell about taxes and you're not going to take them anymore - and if you live in one of 16 states where the issue is on the ballot next Tuesday - you can vote for a variety of tax and spending limits.
In fact, if you live in Michigan, you can choose among three initiatives that would cut or limit property taxes. And if you succeed in passing all of them, you can tie up the state's legal machinery for months - maybe years.
But in some other states your vote may not have much of an impact. For instance, in Illinois a question about a ceiling on property taxes would be merely advisory to the state legislature. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Michael A. Bakalis calls this measure, proposed by Republican Gov. James R. Thompson, "Proposition Zero."
Nevertheless, most of the tax and spending measures are expected to pass, and even if some don't, these sons of Proposition 13, California's gift to the tax rebellion, have already forced state and federal bureaucrats to think small when it comes to spending.
Part of the effort to impose limits results from a voter wariness of those who run schools and governments. S. H. (Zeke) Brauer, the man behind a drive in Nebraska to limit spending increases, puts it this way:
"I can trust people ahead of bureaucrats. Who enthroned them? Who anointed them? Just because they carry a piece of paper saying they've gone through a university's theoretical and philosophical programs doesn't make their view any better than that of the individual or public collectively."
Another reason for the anti-tax fever: because California had such an enormous budget surplus earlier this year (estimates have put it at $5 billion to $7 billion), voters have perceived that most states are fat cats. However true that may have been in the past, the U.S. Commerce Department now says state surpluses are dwindling.
Still, tax-cut advocates maintain that citizens have not gotten their money's worth from their ever-increasing tax outlays and that further cuts are needed to pare waste.
In only four states - Idaho, Michigan, Nevada and Oregon - would the Tuesday ballot issues, if passed, actually mean property tax cuts similar to those imposed by California's initiative last June.
Other tax relief measures will be on the ballot in Alabama, North Dakota and Texas.Spending or tax limitations will be voted on in Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, South Dakota and Texas.
Other tax measures are on the ballot in Arkansas, which has a proposal to repeal its 3 percent sales tax on food and prescription drugs, and in Massachusetts, which has a proposal to allow cities and towns to tax residential and commerical property at different rates. If that passes, home-owners are expected to get a tax break.
South Carolina has a ballot issue that would create a "rainy day" fund equal to 5 percent of the general fund budget, and it could not be tapped unless two-thirds of the legislature voted to do so. Proponents say the self-imposed savings account could be used to forestall a tax increase should the economy slump again.
The following tax-spending measures will be voted on Tuesday:
Alabama - A proposal to limit the increase on all kinds of property taxes in any county to 20 percent. Different rates - utilities at 30 percent of fair market value, cars at 15 percent, residences and farms at 10 percent of their value as currently used, and everything else at 20 percent.
Arizona - A constitutional amendment to limit state spending to 7 percent of total personal income. Current spending is about that level. Half the money spent by the state would be exempt from the limit, and emergency increases would be allowed if approved by two-th'rds of the legislature.
Colorado - A amendment to link spending increases by local government units, including school boards, to the national consumer price index and to increases in state population.
Hawaii - Amendments to hold general fund spending growth to the growth in the state's economy, to limit state bonded indebtedness, and to provide tax refunds or credits if the general fund has a surplus exceeding 5 percent of revenues for two consecutive years.
Idaho - A statutory initiative to limit property taxes to 1 percent of current market value. The average now is 1.7 percent. If the measure passes - and a recent poll said pro and con forces are in a dead heat - it would require some changes by the legislature next year. For instance, a provision requiring a two-thirds legislative vote to impose any new tax conflicts with the state constitution, which requires only a majority vote.
Illinois - Advisory referendum asking whether voters want a ceiling on state spending and property taxes.
Michigan - An amendment proposed by Robert E. Tisch, a drain commissioner of Shiawassee County, that would cut current property taxes by 43 percent. It also would limit annual assessment increases to 2.5 percent and would allow the current state income tax, now 4.6 percent, to rise to 5.6 percent.
Another proposal, by Richard H. Headlee, a business executive, would limit state taxes to their current percentage (9.5) of state personal income, tie property tax increases to the level of inflation, and require voter approval of all new tax increases.
A third proposal, which is given little chance of passage, would provide parents with vouchers to be taken to the schools of their choice, public or private, which would use the vouchers to get operating funds from the state. Property taxes would no longer be used for education.
Voucher plans were touted in the late 1960s by the Nixon administration, but only one school system - Alum Rock, Calif. - ever tried it, and it failed.
Michigan officials say that if all three - or two of the three - tax proposals pass, the state attorney general will be asked to determine which elements of the proposals will become law. He might refer the matter to the state Supreme Court, these officials say.
Nebraska - A proposed lid that would prevent localities and school systems from increasing their spending by more than 5 percent a year unless either four fifths of the legisture approves or population or enrollment increases by more than 5 percent.
Nevada - A son-of-Prop-13 that would limit property taxes to 1 percent of current market value, reduce valuation to the 1975 level, and forbid increases in assessments higher than 2 percent a year. To become effective, the measure would have to be approved again by the voters in 1980.
North Dakota - A measure to cut state income taxes for individuals and raise them for corporations. New tax rates would require approval by two thirds of the legislature.
Oregon - An initiative that would limit property taxes to 1.5 cent of valuation, and a legislature-passed measure that would give more relief to homeowners and renters but would have less overall impact because it would exclude businesses from tax relief. If both measures pass, the one getting more votes wins.
South Dakota - An initiative requiring a two thirds legislative vote to raise the state's 4 percent sales tax or real property tax rates. Now a majority vote is required.
Texas - A tax package that would increase homestead exemptions, ease taxes on the elderly, reduce farm and timberland taxes and tie spending increases to economic growth.
In Maryland there is no statewide tax issue, but Montgomery County has a proposed property tax cut and spending limit and Prince George's County has a measure to freeze tax collections at this year's level.