State Supreme Court: State Must Pay $63 Million Back

The state of Kansas must pay former pizza executive Gene Bicknell more than $63 million to settle a long-running dispute over his tax bill.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that Bicknell was a Florida resident in 2005 and 2006 when he sold NPC International, which owned more than 800 Pizza Hut locations around the world.

The Kansas Department of Revenue had argued the Bicknell, a longtime resident of Pittsburg, set up a residence in Florida to avoid paying taxes on the sale to Kansas.

The case wound through several courts over the years before being taken up by the state Supreme Court, which sided with Bicknell, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

In 2020, Bicknell said Kansas owed him $63 million — his original tax bill plus interest.

Bicknell said in a statement that he believed the Department’s approach always felt to him like extortion.

A Revenue Department spokesperson said they were reviewing the 75-page ruling.