The days of tax-free shopping are quickly drawing to a close for all except those willing to drive to places like Delaware or Oregon. A two-front assault on Web shoppers is in full force — Congress is considering legislation that would pave the way for states to force sales tax on point-and-click shoppers, and Amazon.com is making numerous one-off deals with individual states, where it will be collecting taxes no matter what Congress does. Together, these two developments make an Internet sales tax all but inevitable.

For years, brick-and-mortar stores were at an incredible disadvantage to online retailers that could offer tax-free shopping. If you are a fair-minded person, it’s hard to muster an argument that this situation — in which online shoppers enjoy a 5 percent to 10 percent “discount” because they point and click instead of drive or walk — was anything but unfair…

To boil it down, Forrester Research says the average U.S. online shopper will soon spend $1,700 annually — so the changes will cost each one about $125 every year.