The measure is similar to one that people in Stockton are voting on, although Measure X would spend the new money in several ways.
Supporters say it would pay to fix city streets, attract new businesses, and hire more police and firefighters. Business Owner Nick Bavaro says Modesto has lost 55 police officers and 33 firefighters to budget cuts over the past few years.
Proponents say at least half would go toward public safety.
Bavaro says Measure X would restore those jobs and help hold the rising crime rate in check.
"We need to be able to insure that we have enough policemen and firemen protecting the No. 1 priority of our community and that's public safety." - Nick Bavaro, Modesto business owner
A simple majority vote rather than a two-thirds vote is needed to pass Measure X.
If passed, an estimated $26 million would be raised the first year from the tax increase. An 11-member board would determine how the money will be spent.