AUGUSTA — Gov. John Baldacci has signed into law a bill that allows towns and cities to establish a property tax deferral program for eligible senior citizens.

The bill signed today allows homeowners in municipalities that offer the program to apply for a deferral of their property taxes if they are at least 70 years old, occupy the home, have lived in it for at least 10 years and have a household income of less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level.

The taxes may be deferred until the death of the homeowner, sale of the home, or other events. Repayment of the taxes is required within a set time period, along with interest on the payment for delinquency.