Given the extreme difficulty in obtaining redress for unconstitutionally discriminatory taxes, should Congress should regulate any state and local taxes or tax collection obligations that it allows to be imposed on sellers with no physical presence in the taxing state?
The Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution was specifically included because under the Articles of Confederation then in effect, the lack of a central federal power over interstate commerce led to the imposition of massive discriminatory trade barriers between the states. ( See Federalism: Should Congress Take a More Active Role in Restraining the States from Interfering in Interstate Commerce? at: http://www.ilpf.org/confer/present99/caldwellpr-fed.pdf)
Even in current times, the states’ record of imposing unconstitutional taxes and tax collection obligations is not one which should lead us to feel comfortable with granting them more taxing powers than they now have. Not only is there the problem of states constantly attempting to expand taxation beyond current standards, but there is also the problem that the process of challenging an unconstitutional tax is so difficult. (See States Behaving Badly at: http://www.ilpf.org/confer/present99/caldwellpr-st.pdf)