Our April 16th speaker will be: Ernie Dronenburg

ErnieDronenburgProperty assessor for 28 years, partner in the largest audit and tax consulting firm in the world, nationally recognized tax expert, small business owner and flower farmer, Ernie has the broadest
and best background possible for the office of Assessor of San Diego County. Ernie is considered an expert in state and local tax administration having been involved at all levels of tax administration for over 36 years. A graduate of San Diego State University with a degree in Business Administration, Finance, he first worked eight years for the California State Board of Equalization as a Tax Auditor.
Then in 1978, Mr. Dronenburg won his first of five consecutive 4-year terms
as an Equalization Board Member. He served as Chairman of the Board of Equalization,
as well as a member and the Chairman of the Franchise Tax Board, on five different occasions.
In 1998 he was termed out of office and joined Deloitte & Touche LLP, as the National Partner
in Charge of the State Tax Controversy and Government Relations.
During his years in office he served as Chairman of the Board of Equalization,
Property Tax Committee. For the 20 years he was on the Board his duties included
being a local property tax assessor, assessing complex property located in all 58
California counties. He also personally wrote the initial Prop 13 Property Assessment Rules,
major changes in the sales taxation and he heard more than 20,000 tax appeals.
Among the significant pieces of tax legislation that Ernie has been sponsor and
principal drafter of is the California Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
Ernie has held the position of president and/or board member on almost every
major state tax association in the United States, including, in 1997, being appointed
by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives to be a commissioner
on the IRS Restructuring Commission, President of the Federation of Tax Administrators
and Western States Association of Tax Administrators. During his time in office,
he has received many awards and distinctions but in his last year in office he was
given two significant tributes that have never been given to any other state tax administrator.
The first was the 1998 Distinguished Public Service Award by the National Tax Executives
Institute (TEI), an honor he was truly proud to receive, and then the State Board of Equalization
named its only major conference room, in its Sacramento headquarters building,
the Ernest J. Dronenburg, Jr. Conference Room. He left the State Board of Equalization
in 1998 due to the term limits initiative passed in 1992.
Since joining Deloitte Tax LLP in January 1999, Ernie served more than 50 of the Fortune 500
clients of the firm. His practice included property tax, income tax and sales tax consulting
in the 14 western states. He has lectured and spoken at Universities and Professional conferences,
workshops and symposiums. Ernie left Deloitte Tax in May of 2006 because of age limitation
on firm partners. He started his own Taxpayer’s Advocacy firm the day after he left with
Deloitte Tax as his main client.
In an effort to serve his local community in July of 1999 he agreed to an appointment
to the San Diego County Board of Education. His fellow members elected him President
of the Board in January 2000 and reelected him in January 2001. He was elected to his own
four-year term in March 2002. In 2005, because he had moved his residence, Ernie resigned from the Board.
He and his late wife Kathy had lived in San Diego County for over 50 years. Kathy was a member
and Vice President of the State Board of Education for 12 years. She died on March 9, 2002
of breast cancer. They had three children: Kristen, married and a structural engineer and
mother of two children; Amy a worker in a sheltered workshop; and Stephanie,
formerly a kindergarten schoolteacher and now the mother of identical twin boys.
On November 15, 2003, he married Marilyn Herlihy. Marilyn and Ernie have seven grandchildren
and they live on a 33 acre flower farm in Fallbrook, California. In his leisure time Ernie is an avid sailor and sports fan.

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