City Attorney Jim McCulloch shared that opinion with members of the Vermillion City Council Monday.
"The city is prohibited from spending any public money to either finance a certain side of a ballot issue, or campaign one way or the other," he said.
The city is not permitted to spend money on common campaign materials, such as yard signs, pamphlets and advertising, McCulloch said.
"The city is restricted to informing and educating in a neutral manner," he added.
McCulloch noted, however, that individual members of the city council do have the constitutional right to express their individual views on the topic with citizens.
"But beyond that, the city is pretty much precluded in the information aspect of this issue. The city has to remain neutral," McCulloch said.
He noted that previous city elections have involved referendums on local issues that placed before voters to veto previous city council action.
In such instances, the city is allowed to campaign on the referred issues.