Trump's Phoenix rally cost taxpayers almost half a million dollars

Phoenix taxpayers are on the hook for a portion of the bill for President Trump's August rally in Phoenix. Here's why.

President Donald Trump's eighth trip to Arizona was the most expensive one.

The bill to Phoenix taxpayers for the August campaign rally was almost half a million dollars, a city spokeswoman confirmed to 12 News.

Phoenix police had to prepare for an unprecedented number of Trump supporters and protesters outside downtown's Phoenix Convention Center.

RECAP: Trump goes broad in Phoenix speech before police, protesters clash

The rally took place two weeks after a protester was killed at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump's response to the Charlottesville violence outraged people on the left and the right.

There was also speculation Trump might use the Phoenix visit to announce his pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an inflammatory act for many Arizonans.

Handling the Trump rally crowd cost Phoenix taxpayers $454,546 in employee overtime.

We've verified with the city that most of the money went to police -- $336,887. Fire Department OT cost $60,483.

The streets department spent $49,767, and the Departments of Public Works & Water paid out $7,409.

Police overtime spending typically accounts for the largest slice of the taxpayer bill for big events.

For the Super Bowl in February 2015, Phoenix PD budgeted $1.5 million for operating costs.

Super Bowl events were spread out over several days in downtown Phoenix, with tens of thousands of visitors attending.

We've verified that the Trump campaign paid $49,476 to use the Phoenix Convention Center.

Various convention center services cost $32,631. Renting the hall cost $16,845.

Capacity for the trump rally was 19,000. A fire marshal told 12 News that the room was slightly more than half full, with 10,256 people attending.

Phoenix officials say the cost of the rally is the price of protecting free speech.

No refund has been requested, and the Trump campaign isn't offering any reimbursement.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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