Real estate values are in danger of becoming the long-term victim of rising state and local taxes, which account for nearly half of all the taxes Americans now pay, according to a new report.

When taxes go up in one state or city, residents and companies will "vote with their feet" by moving to areas with lower taxes, said Robert E. Hopkins, the report's author, who is an analyst with Salomon Brothers Inc., a leading New York investment firm. But homes, office buildings and other real estate "cannot follow emigrating occupants {and} will decline in value" in the wake of such departures, he said.

State and city officials walk a fine line when deciding whether to raise taxes, knowing a decision that pushes taxes too high could hurt economic growth. A decades-long trend toward making states and cities pay for functions once financed by federal social programs and revenue sharing has forced governments to continue increasing taxes, Hopkins said.

But Hopkins acknowledged that in some regions, including the Washington area, what residents get for their money may offset the tax burdens.

"High taxes for high levels of service actually may attract people rather than repel them," Hopkins said in his report. "Witness the best suburbs around the country, which often have very high school taxes to pay for very good schools."

But a tax that "redistributes" income away from the taxpayers to be used for other purposes may drive away residents, "not necessarily because those people ignore the needs of the poor, but because the taxes can be avoided by moving across ... a boundary line," he said.

Another recent report said competition among states for new business and new residents pushes officials to offer tax advantages while sustaining a level of "public services that will make them attractive places in which to live and work." This competition has led eight states and the District to scale back their top tax rates and reduce the number of tax brackets, according to John Shannon, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Urban Institute.

Local experts said there is little evidence that people or businesses are moving out of the Washington area to avoid local and state taxation. Taxes here "may be on the high side," but few, if any, businesses have decided not to locate here because of them, said John Driggs, chairman of the Greater Washington Board of Trade's business development bureau and head of the Driggs Corp., a heavy construction firm.

He said, however, that "it's always a concern of the business community that if {taxes} slide up any more they will become a detriment to attracting new business here."

In a recent survey of federal contractors, the Greater Washington Research Center found that "almost none contemplated a move" out of the area, said Atlee E. Shidler, president of the center. But about half said they were troubled by high local taxes and shortages of workers and of affordable housing.

Companies now located here are unlikely to leave because other advantages outweigh the high taxes, in the view of Stephen Fuller, a tax expert and chairman of the Department of Urban Planning and Real Estate Development at George Washington University.

The Washington area's market is one of the strongest retail markets in the country, and is growing, he said. "I don't think our taxes will be sufficient to counter" that growth, Fuller said.

Many states and localities, however, are not so fortunate. They are facing, or have already fallen into recessions and will raise taxes to cover declining revenues, according to Hopkins's report.

"Significant changes in the politics and economics of many states are starting to be translated into increased taxes," with 39 states legislating tax increases in the last two years, he said. New Jersey recently approved a $2.3 billion net tax increase and California's taxes are expected to go up by $3.7 billion per year over the next five years.

The higher tax burdens are heaviest in states already going into recessions, Hopkins said, adding that "the repelling forces" of high local taxes will be added to the already slowing economies.

New York tops the list in amount of state and local taxes levied on its citizens, who pay $6,400 per job in state and local taxes, his report said. Tennessee comes in last with its residents paying only about half the amount of the New York taxes. The figures are for fiscal year 1988.

Hopkins rated tax burdens three ways: by the amount paid per job in the state, the amount paid per person and that paid per $1,000 of income.

"The large, wealthy states show substantial tax burdens," with New York ranking second or third in all three categories, the report said. Alaska actually occupies first place in tax burdens by all three standards, but the report noted that these are not reliable measures of citizens' tax burdens "because much of the taxation is in the form of royalties and severance taxes on oil production" and is not paid by most residents.

Maryland, along with California, New Jersey and Connecticut, "have high per-job and per-capita tax rates that are supported by high incomes," Hopkins said. In each state the tax burden is more than $4,000 per job and $2,000 per resident.

The District was low, at $3,059, on the list of taxes paid per job, topping only New Hampshire, Alabama and Tennessee. Maryland placed sixth and Virginia 33rd, at $4,601 and $3,659 respectively.

When tax collections were divided by the number of people in a jurisdiction and by each $1,000 of income, the District came in second, behind Alaska. City residents pay $3,361 per person and $163 per $1,000 of income, according to Hopkins's report.

Maryland placed 19th when ranked on income and eighth in per resident calculations, with Virginia placing 45th and 21st, respectively.

Alabama and Tennessee are at the bottom of the list with several other states just above them.

"States in the south generally are low-service, low-redistribution states with low tax burdens," the report said. "A number of the Midwest farm states also rank low by most measures of tax burden for the same reasons."

New Hampshire also ranks near the bottom in the three categories, but the ranking is misleading. The state has no sales or income tax but relies heavily on property taxes for its income. New Hampshire ranks behind only Alaska and the District in the amount of property tax it collects from its citizens.

"Some states will ride out the current regional and national slowdown, and some states can accept an additional tax burden," Hopkins concluded. However, as residents and some businesses " 'vote with their feet,' real estate, which cannot move out of higher tax states, may be the loser."