In the antitax fervor that followed adoption of Proposition 13 in California, several states and a few counties adopted spending and taxing limits. About half the states have spending or revenue limitations of some kind on their books.

But most of the measures allow modest increases in spending or taxing, and none is as strict as TRIM. Even Proposition 13 allows tax rates to rise 1 percent and revenues to increase 2 percent annually. Property may be fully reassessed when it changes hands. An almost identical measure was adopted by Idaho, also in 1978.

Since the passage of Proposition 13, according to the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, state spending increases have slowed dramatically, except in the oil-rich states.

In many areas, from the Midwest to the Northwest, school funding is separate from other government functions, and residents traditionally have voted up or down special levies for education. In the southern states, as in Maryland, schools systems are traditionally part of county government.

In Maryland, from 1976 to 1980, Harford County limited tax increases to the rate of inflation, but its conservative government never spent its limit. Affluent Talbot County, on the Eastern Shore, limits revenues from property taxes to the amount collected in 1979, as does Prince George's, but unlike Prince George's, new construction is excluded from the cap.

Some of the earlier attempts by states to limit spending or tax increases were:

Arizona--Adopted tax limit in 1913, one year after achieving statehood.

Oregon--Enacted a limit in 1916, but has often exceeded it by referendum.

Ohio--In 1925, made tax increases over a certain amount subject to voter approval.

Colorado--In 1956 began limiting levy increases to 7 percent, excluding new construction or annexation by localities.

New Jersey--Enacted a 5-percent limit on annual spending increases in 1976, but subsequent amendments created several loopholes. The measure expired June 30.

Florida--Adopted a one-year 8 percent cap on increased revenues for state government in 1980. Next year, voters will consider "Proposition 1," a more stringent citizen initiative to limit local and state spending. The overall tax burden borne by Floridians is already among the nation's lowest.

Michigan--Froze local and state spending in 1978 and limited future increases to 10 percent. But the economically hard-hit state has been unable to generate enough additional revenues to spend up to its limit. Meanwhile, the percentage of state revenues returned to localities was frozen.

In Massachusetts, which should be called "Taxachusetts" according to some residents, voters adopted Proposition 2 1/2--their version of TRIM and Proposition 13--in 1980.

After three years, spending is down in the Bay State, but the sought-after tax relief for homeowners has proven elusive in some places. And while forecasts of severely slashed services and riots in the streets have failed to materialize in the commonwealth's 351 towns and cities, government leaders increasingly fret about the future.

Like their Prince George's counterparts, they worry that the infrastructure of government--the fire trucks, buildings, highways and bridges--will someday fall apart from failure to repair or replace them.

Pressed, the worriers acknowledge that municipal managers have made government more efficient with fewer funds. But they complain, too, that the extensive layoffs of teachers that came in the wake of Proposition 2 1/2 will keep firms concerned about public services from moving to the state. Others see the decreased taxes applied to business and some property owners as a positive countervailing force.

Officials also fear that the state government, which cushioned the impact of Proposition 2 1/2 with substantially increased aid to localities, will run out of funds. And while others applaud the heightened help from the commonwealth, they decry what they say is a shift toward local dependence on state aid.

Pressure for tax relief in the state, where the property-tax burden was fourth in the nation, escalated after Proposition 13 became law in 1978. But while the California measure allowed for increased revenues from new construction and reassessment of properties when sold, the antitax movement in Massachusetts permitted no such loopholes.

Nonetheless, there have been parallels in the two states. In both, local governments that could formerly increase tax rates and assessments to raise more revenues increasingly look to their state legislatures for help.

Proposition 13 immediately slashed property taxes in half, but a $6 billion state surplus was used to ameliorate the revenue reduction in the first couple of years. After the state bail-out ended, most California communities began raising or instituting fees for many services. As in Massachusetts, poorer districts and citizens suffered the most.

California officials moved to defer maintenance of public facilities. There were large-scale layoffs of public employes and teachers. School systems slow to react to declining enrollments were forced to close schools. This summer, California's 10th largest school system, in San Jose, declared bankruptcy.

Yet, the measure forced governments to become more efficient, and polls in California show that many citizens still support Proposition 13 and say they have suffered little, if at all, from its effects.

In Massachusetts, a group called Citizens for Limited Taxation (CLT) pressed for passage of Proposition 2 1/2. Arrayed against it was a coalition that included lawmakers, teachers, municipal officials and lobbyists, church leaders and public employe unions. In November 1980, as the state's voters gave Ronald Reagan a plurality, they approved the all-or-nothing Proposition 2 1/2 referendum by a 3-to-2 margin.

It was designed to roll back property taxes from a statewide average of 8 percent of market value to 2 1/2 percent, limit future spending increases to 2 1/2 percent per year, abolish binding arbitration for police and firefighters, slash auto excise tax revenues, hold regional taxing authorities to 4 percent budget increases, and strip fiscal autonomy from formerly free-spending school boards. It also barred the state from forcing new programs on communities without funding them.

All localities were forced to reshape their budgets for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1981. Overall, 20,000 positions were eliminated. The state came up with $260 million, about half the gap. To help finance its aid package to localities, the state cut 8,000 more jobs. State aid increased the second and third years, too, when few layoffs occurred.

Proposition 2 1/2 allowed citizens to override its harshest provisions by popular vote, one year at a time, and about 40 localities have done so.

"The real issue wasn't money, it was control and attitude," said Barbara Anderson, a former swimming instructor who presides over CLT. "People were fed up with the attitude of the government toward them. Then, suddenly, it all changed, like when a 70-pound weakling stands up and punches the bully. He gets respect."