The Public Finances

TITLE VIII THE PUBLIC FINANCES

CHAPTER I General provisions

Article 223
The system of taxation shall seek a fair distribution of burdens in accordance with the economic capacity of the taxpayer, based on the principle of progressivity and also the protection of the national economy and the raising of the standard of living of the people.

Article 224
No tax or other contribution may be collected that is not established by law, and no exemptions or exonerations from them may be granted except in the cases provided for in such a law.

Article 225
No tax payable in personal services may be established .

Article 226
A law which establishes or amends a tax or other contribution must fix a period of time before it is to take effect. If this is not done, it may not take effect until sixty days after it has been promulgated.
This provisions does not limit the extraordinary powers which are granted to the National Executive in the cases provided for in this Constitution.

Article 227
No expenditure shall be made from the National Treasury that has not been provided for in the Budget Law. Credits additional to the budget may be decreed only for necessary expenditures not provided for or for which the items were insufficient, and only if that the Treasury has the funds to meet the expenditure. For this purpose a favorable vote of the Council of Ministers and the authorization of the Chambers in joint session or, if in recess, of the Delegated Committee shall be prerequisite.

Article 228
The National Executive shall submit the proposed Budget Law to Congress at the time indicated in the organic law. The Chambers may alter budgetary items but may not authorize expenditures that exceed the amount of estimated revenues in the proposed Budget.

Article 229
The Budget Law shall include annually, with the name "allotment," an item which is to be distributed among the States, the Federal District, and the Federal Territories in the following manner: thirty percent (30%) of the amount in equal parts and the remaining seventy percent (70%) to be divided in proportion to the population of each of the Entities mentioned. This item shall not be less than twelve and a half percent (12.5%) of the total estimated ordinary revenues in the budget, and this minimum percentage shall be increased annually and consecutively, beginning with the budget for 1962, by at least one half percent (0.5%) until it reaches a definitive minimum of fifteen percent (15%). The pertinent organic law shall determine the share corresponding to municipal entities under this allotment.
The law may enact rules to coordinate the expenditure of this allotment with administrative plans developed by the National Power, and may set limits on the emoluments to be received by officials and employees of federal and municipal entities.
In the event of a decrease in revenues that requires a readjustment of the Budget, the allotment will be readjusted proportionally.

Article 230
Autonomous institutes may be created only by law, and in conformity with the pertinent organic law.
Autonomous institutes and the State interest in corporate bodies or entities of any nature shall be subject to the control of Congress, in the manner established by law.

Article 231
Loans may be contracted only for income-producing works, except in case of obvious national necessity or advantage.
Public credit operations shall require, in order to be valid, a special law which authorizes them, with only such exceptions as are established in the organic law.

Article 232
The State shall recognize no other obligations than those contracted by legitimate organs of the National Power, in accordance with the laws.

Article 233
The provisions which govern the National Public Finances shall govern the Public Finances of the States and Municipalities insofar as they are applicable.

CHAPTER II The Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic

Article 234
The Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic is entrusted with the monitoring, supervision, and auditing of the national revenues, expenditures, and assets, and of operations related to them.

The law shall determine the organization and functioning of the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic, and the occasions, nature, and scope of its intervention.

Article 235
The functions of the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic may be extended by law to the autonomous institutes, and also to the state or municipal administrations, without impairing the autonomy which is guaranteed to them by this Constitution.

Article 236
The Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic is an auxiliary organ of Congress in its function of monitoring the Public Finances, and shall enjoy junctional autonomy in exercising its powers.

Article 237
The Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic shall function under the direction and responsibility of the Comptroller General of the Republic.

To be Comptroller General of the Republic a person must be a Venezuelan by birth, over thirty years of age, and a layman.

Article 238
The members in joint session shall elect the Comptroller General of the Republic within the first thirty days of each constitutional term.

In the event of an absolute vacancy in the post of Comptroller General of the Republic, the Chambers in joint session shall conduct a new election for the remainder of the constitutional term.
Temporary and occasional absences of the Comptroller General of the Republic, and the interim vacancy before an absolute vacancy is filled, shall be filled in the manner determined by law.

Article 239
The Comptroller General of the Republic shall present to Congress annually a report of the activities of his Office or concerning the Account or Accounts that have been presented to Congress by agencies and officials required to do so. He shall also present such reports as may be requested by Congress or the National Executive at any time.