We hear you and we agree that the taxes are high. The practice of charging tax as a separate line item alongside shipping is very common in the USA, though it may seem strange in some parts of the world.
When this project was budgeted, tiers were priced lower in anticipation of charging taxes later. The game could not be discounted by 30% if 20% of that cost needed to be reserved to pay sales taxes. So the options are to charge full retail and include tax, or give a discount and charge tax separately. The latter seems more fair in a world where different countries and states have vastly different tax rates.
We apologize for the confusion with the term International-friendly. It seems that definition of this term was not very clear. Each project handles things a bit differently, and there are not really standard definitions for these terms.
Normally, when you buy a product from overseas, you would have to pay a high shipping fee, go to your local customs office, then pay customs on both the product and its shipping in order to receive it.
"International-friendly", means that your games are shipped to you from within your region, rather than from overseas. This eliminates the need to deal with the customs office and provides greatly reduced shipping fees. However, governments charge the importer the same customs taxes when these goods are imported as they would have charged to you at the customs office. So this money still has to come from somewhere.
With an international-friendly project, you can avoid the red tape of dealing with customs, and also get a much lower shipping fee because your pledge is being shipped from within your region. But it doesn't eliminate the reality of sales taxes.