The taxpayer and legislator rush to cap state and local government spending appears to have come to an abrupt halt. This year for the first time in five years no state has moved to put a lid on spending by changing its constitution or passing a law. Still, 18 states, mostly west of the Mississippi, have spending ceilings left over from past years. Some are very tight, and moves may be made to modify them in 1982.
In sum: ''It looks like a turnaround from 1977 when most states were either reducing tax rates or enacting no new levies,'' says Dr. David Walker of the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.