Photo of Greg  Turner

Greg Turner

Special Counsel
San Francisco
T: 415.774.3106
F: 415.403.6247



  • J.D., University of the Pacific, 1992
  • BSBA., University of Arizona, 1988
  • California

Greg Turner is Special Counsel in the Tax and Estate Planning Practice Group in the Firm’s San Francisco Office, though he spends most of his time in Sacramento.

Areas of Practice

Mr. Turner brings more than twenty years of state and local tax expertise to Sheppard Mullin from both inside and outside of state government. His areas of practice cover all manner of state and local tax including corporate and personal income tax, sales and use taxes (including local allocation), property tax (including complex change in ownership structures), business license taxes, as well as other taxes and fees administered by state and local governments.

Mr. Turner represents clients in controversy matters from audit through litigation, but also has extensive experience engaging policy makers in the State Capitol, state administrative agencies, and national organizations engaged in tax policy such as the Multistate Tax Commission, the Federation of Tax Administrators, and the National Conference of State Legislators.

Mr. Turner is a sought after speaker on state and local tax matters and has a recurring column in Tax Analyst’s State Tax Notes, “Turner’s Point,” providing critical analysis on current topics in the state and local tax arena. Greg is a regular speaker at conferences across the country sponsored by the Council on State Taxation (COST), the California State Bar, Tax Executives Institute (TEI), the Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA), the Institute of Professionals in Taxation (IPT), the Western States Association of Tax Administrators (WSATA) and San Jose State University’s “High Tech Tax Institute.”

As a principal drafter of Proposition 26, he has been extensively engaged in California’s recurring struggles concerning state and local tax authority and the demands of voters for a role in that process.

Vice President, Senior Tax Counsel
The Council On State Taxation (COST)
Lead advocate (judicial and legislative) in California and western states on state and local tax issues; supported national education programs and conferences as lecturer and host for western region seminars; frequent guest lecturer on legal and tax policy topics before numerous state tax groups and tax practitioner organizations.

Principle author of more than a dozen briefs and petitions for certiorari as amicus curiae including:

  • LLC v. New York State Dep’t of Taxation (2013) 134 S.Ct. 682
  • Elk Hills Power, LLC v. Board of Equalization (2013) 57 Cal.4th 593
  • Schmeer v. County of Los Angeles (2013) 213 Cal.App.4th 1310
  • Gillette Company v. Franchise Tax Board (2012) 147 Cal.Rptr.3d 603, review granted Jan. 16, 2013, S206587, including related cases in Michigan (IBM v. Mich. Dep’t of Treas. (2014) -- N.W.2d -- Sept. 16, 2014) and Oregon (Healthnet v. Oregon Dep’t of Rev. (2014) TC 5127)
  • Travelocity v. Dir. of Taxation, State of Hawaii (2014) SCAP 13-0002896, app. pending
  • Thomson Reuters Inc. v. Mich. Dep’t of Treas. (2013) Not reported in N.W.2d, Docket No. 313835
  • NetJets Aviation v. Guillory (2012) 207 Cal.App.4th 26
  • Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. v. Ariz. Dept. of Rev (2013) 233 Ariz. 449, pet’n for cert.

As an attorney in private practice:
Directly engaged on numerous legislative, regulatory and state ballot measure coalitions on behalf of clients, including:

  • AB 1178 (Block) 2010 regarding “Tax Havens”
  • AB 697 (Hancock) 2008 regarding use of local tax allocations
  • Franchise Tax Board Regulation 25110 “Effectively Connected Income”
  • Board of Equalization Regulation 1591 “Medicines and Medical Devices”
  • Board of Equalization Regulation 474 “Petroleum Refining Properties”
  • Opposition to Proposition 25 (“Passing the Budget on Time Act of 2010” / reducing the two-thirds vote for tax increases)
  • Principal author and tax counsel in support of Proposition 26 (“Stop Hidden Taxes”) / defining “tax” for legislative two-thirds vote and local voter approval purposes
  • Opposition to Proposition 24 (“Stop the Jobs Tax”) Repeal of Elective SSF, NOL carrybacks, credit sharing provisions enacted in 2008-2009

Represented taxpayers on sales and use tax audits including major California retailer before State Board of Equalization and in litigation concerning local allocation of sales and use taxes.

Advised clients in complex change in ownership structures including successfully negotiating favorable property tax treatment of military base privatized housing developments in several California counties.

Represented taxpayers concerning application, compliance with, and disputes over city business license taxes.

Represented California manufacturer before State Board of Equalization concerning claim for refunds of Manufacturing Investment Credits (MIC).

Represented high-wealth individuals in protest and settlement of residency and “Qualified Small Business Stock” disputes with the Franchise Tax Board.

Represented taxpayers in successor liability disputes with the State Board of Equalization.

Represented taxpayer in dispute over, and legitimacy of, “Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act Fees” before the State Board of Equalization.

Previously held positions include:

  • General Counsel and Legislative Director, California Taxpayers’ Association
  • Chief Deputy, California State Board of Equalization Member Dean F. Andal 
  • Legal Counsel, Assembly Republican Leader Jim Brulte