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Kansas must return money in income tax dispute

A Kansas district court judge has ordered the state of Kansas to pay $48 million to settle a long-running legal battle with former pizza magnate Gene Bicknell.

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

The state revenue department said Bicknell lived in Kansas and issued a $42.5 million income tax assessment against him, which Bicknell paid.

Bicknell argued his official home was in Florida and sued the state.

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

Gov. Laura Kelly spokeswoman Ashley All says the administration is reviewing the decision.

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