Modesto Mayor Garrad Marsh has been pushing to increase the city sales tax for a couple of years.
He says the current seven-and-five-eighths cent tax is among the lowest in the state.
But he says city voters are uninterested in raising the tax by a half cent to pay for police and fire services.
"And if the community is satisfied with too much crime and if they're satisfied with the idea of closing fire stations, there's nothing I can do about it by myself."
Marsh says this year the $367 million budget shouldn't bring any public safety cuts but next year might.
The City Council could put a tax increase on Modesto's November ballot but Marsh says he doesn't see much support for that at this point.