I am assuming that:
A) You are itemizing your deductions
B) You are taking the state income tax deduction as opposed to the sales tax deduction
C) The difference between the state income tax deduction and the sales tax deduction was less than the amount of the state refund
D) All of the amount of the state tax deduction was of benefit to you
E) You are not subject to AMT
If the tax rate on all of that taxable refund is the same in both years (in other words, if the additional 6k in 2017 doesnít cause you to jump in to the next tax bracket), it doesnít affect any phase out of credits or deductions, and it doesnít affect any additional Medicare tax, then the results may be no different recapturing it all in one year as opposed to two.
There may be other factors (capital gain or loss, previously unallowed losses freed up in a given year, allowed rental loss, etc.) that may weigh in to the analysis of the above.
There will be a difference, financially, if you donít file for the 2013 refund before 4/18/2017, or on some other date near this depending on what state you are dealing with.