Kansas ordered to pay $48M to ex-pizza magnate Gene Bicknell

TOPEKA — A judge has ordered Kansas to pay $48 million to settle a long-running legal fight with former pizza magnate Gene Bicknell.

Bicknell once owned the most Pizza Hut franchises in the nation. His legal fight with Kansas centered on whether the Pittsburg native lived in Kansas or in Florida when he sold his company, NPC International, in 2006.

Kansas’ revenue department issued a $42.5 million income tax assessment against him, saying he lived in the state. Bicknell paid the assessment, but he argued his official home was in Florida and sued the state of Kansas.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that on Tuesday, District Court Senior Judge Richard Smith ordered Kansas to return $48 million to Bicknell.

A spokeswoman for Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly says her administration is reviewing the decision.

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