Are you having a yard sale soon? It could cost you money. That’s because towns and cities everywhere are creating new laws that require you to apply for a yard sale permit, and to pay a fee to hold a sale at your very own home.

Why’s there suddenly a yard sale crackdown? Because the tough economy has inspired more people than ever to hold yard sales with the hopes of making some quick, extra cash. But a lot of yard sales have gone from a box of old books and some cast-off clothes, to the yard sale version of a Costco store! We’re talking auto sales, with 20 cars parked on the lawn, and some residents are holding weekly sales, with yards full of vacuum cleaners, racks of clothing and full dining sets.

And local governments say that today’s monster garage sales are creating a monster nuisance, with trash, junk, and traffic jams. So, local governments say they have to start charging people to hold yard sales.

For example, Dallas’ city council requires residents to apply for a permit and pay a $15 fee. Plus, residents can only have two per YEAR! And you can’t post any signs on public property. And in a suburb of Pittsburgh, when the city tried to limit yard sales to five per resident, per year – they were bombarded with hate mail.

And some experts think that the yard sale crackdown could even hurt the environment. Aaron LaPedis is the author of “The Garage Sale Millionaire.” And he says yard sales are one of the most green-friendly activities around these days, because they encourage people to recycle things. But most people probably won’t want to go through the hassle of the fees and permits, so instead they’ll now just throw away stuff.