The implementing states of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement voted to create an associate membership, keeping the agreement on track toward its Oct. 1, 2005, interstate effective date.

The new two-tiered membership will enable the states to garner the votes needed for approval. For the SSTA to take effect, at least 10 states comprising a minimum of 20 percent of the total U.S. population must pass legislation in compliance with the accord. Without the associate members' population inclusion, the population was well under the 20 percent needed.

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