Former Pizza Hut magnate sues state over tax bill

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TOPEKA — Former Pittsburg entrepreneur Gene Bicknell is suing Kansas over a $42 million tax bill stemming from the sale of hundreds of Pizza Hut franchises.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday is the latest twist in a long-running dispute between the state and Bicknell, who once owned the most Pizza Hut franchises in the country.

The Kansas Department of Revenue audited his tax returns from 2005 to 2008 and ordered him to pay $42 million in taxes on the sale of the franchises. The state contends Bicknell’s primary home was Kansas at the time of the sale, but he argues he lived in Florida and doesn’t owe Kansas any sales tax money.

The State Board of Tax Appeals on Oct. 2 sustained the tax assessment, prompting Bicknell to file the lawsuit.

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