Those products just arrive in your mailbox by magic? They don't travel over the highways or land at an airport? They don't get delivered by someone driving on your street?There are ample taxes on fuel paid by carriers to cover the costs of roadways. Unfortunately, in Minnesota, by law, no more than 60% of said taxes can actually be applied to such infrastructure. In practice, significantly less actually goes toward roads. The rest fuels non-infrastructure related political pet-projects.
And, it's not just for infrastructure. That sales tax pays for the fire trucks that come to your house if it catches on fire. It pays for the police officer who patrols your neighborhood so no one steals that new lens you bought.
As for protecting my home from fire and theft, I pay property taxes for those purposes. But, like gas taxes, only a small percentage of what I pay actually goes to police and fire departments.
Sales tax, while difficult to digest, makes sense:
It brings the local stores to a level field of play.
Sorry. This sounds too much like an interstate tariff, which violates the commerce clause of the Constitution.
In Minnesota, the sales tax has been raised to pay for, arguably, "pet projects" of political interest groups that go well beyond covering infrastructure related costs of doing business in this state.
There is an implication here that Internet sales represents a black market of sorts because it avoids local sales tax. If it's true that avoiding local sales tax is a motive for buying online, this should be a clear indication that local sales tax is too high. Remember, online purchasers often have the added cost of shipping which often offsets the "no sales tax motive".
Some big chains in Minnesota tried using the "level playing field" argument to promote an Internet sales tax. Truth be told, if these stores were more competitive on the high dollar items (TV's and DSLRs), more people would buy from them. Speaking for myself, I buy photo equipment online because the initial cost is much cheaper than local merchants. (And, no, I don't "showroom" at local merchants than buy online.)
I would also argue that the "use tax" is unconstitutional because it goes beyond collecting outstate sales taxes. It essentially taxes the ownership of property which infringes upon the right to own property. The right to own property is not protected if such ownership can be "ransomed" by the state. But, I digress (sorry, mods).