Taxpayers dished out $8.2 million to pay for Pope Francis' historic visit here nearly a year ago.

It turns out that Mayor Kenney thinks the price tag was too high.

In May, the administration sent a request to the World Meeting of Families seeking an additional $4 million to cover preparation and cleanup costs that were exempt from the contract signed under Mayor Michael A. Nutter's administration.

"Since approximately $4 million of those costs would not have ever been incurred by city departments had the event not occurred, the Kenney administration requested to be reimbursed an additional $4 million," city spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said.

The World Meeting of Families - which paid the city $8.6 million last year - declined the request.

Nutter said in October that the reimbursement reflected payment for the Saturday and Sunday the pope was in the city. He said the city would cover before and after costs, despite some promises that taxpayers wouldn't spend a dime.

Ken Gavin, spokesman for the archdiocese, said the World Meeting of Families' payment was in accordance with the contract signed last year.

"Mayor Nutter acknowledged that World Meeting of Families had covered the costs it was expected to shoulder," Gavin said. "We are very grateful to the city and all of its workers for their tremendous support before and during the events."

The World Meeting of Families raised $45 million for the visit, which included a five-day Catholic conference at the Convention Center and two days of appearances and visits by Francis around Philadelphia.

A huge swath of Center City was shut down during the visit.

Police costs - particularly overtime - accounted for the city's largest expense that week at $9.3 million. The city billed the World Meeting for $3 million in police costs.

Hitt said the city also would be seeking reimbursement for preparation and cleanup of the Democratic National Convention - a figure not yet available.

She said the late request for the additional $4 million did not stem from any budget shortfall: "It hasn't caused any crisis, no, but it's always better to have $4 million than to not have it."

215-854-5506 @juliaterruso