It seems there's something special about exactly 10%. R S Taub, The Laws of Tzedakah and Maaser, p122, says that to fulfil "maaser" you should first isolate 10%. The first source is the third footnote Sefer Ahavat Chesed (by the Chafetz Chaim), sec 2, Ch 19, which refers to a "Sod Gadol"/"Great secret", and he also mentions a few other sources I don't recognise. I think he thinks there's something of Kabbalistic significance.
Another idea: Ethics of the Fathers 1:16 means something like "Rabban Gamliel would say 'Get a Rav and remove yourself from doubt and don't tithe approximately any more'". If it's a series of three pieces of advice then the third one might be extended to apply to money. If it's a suggestion with two pieces of justification, we are assumed to think exactness is a virtue in at least some tithes.