SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco regulators launched an initiative to tax sugary sweetened beverages in November.

Proponents of the penny-per-ounce tax say the caloric drinks contribute to obesity, diabetes, and other health problems. The soda industry says the tax wrongly highlights a product and hurts small business owners.

This would be San Francisco’s second attempt in two years to tax the drinks. An attempt in 2014 failed to obtain the two-thirds permit required for a specific tax. This time around, backers are aiming for a general tax that only requires a simple majority.

Berkeley, California became the first US city to approve a soda tax in 2014. That month, Philadelphia became the first major US city to approve a tax on sugary and diet drinks.

Regulators submitted the proposed initiative on Tuesday.