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What Does It Take To Be A Millionaire?

President Proposes People Be Taxed Based On Income

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Shows like "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" and lots of cash probably come to mind when you think of millionaires.

But is owning a big house and living a life of luxury all it takes to be one?

"It used to be thought that a millionaire was an extremely wealthy person," said Peter Bower, president and CEO of Riverplace Capital Management, Inc. "Today it could be a small businessman doing really well running a small dealership or a good business."

Bower's company consists of investment advisers who help individuals and businesses manage money.

Bower said a lot of people could be considered to be millionaires not based on their salaries, but on their liquid assets, meaning how much cash someone has in the bank, along with stocks and bonds, certificates of deposit and other assets that can be sold as cash.

Bower said some people will include the value of their home in that definition. But in terms of what President Barack Obama is proposing, people would be taxed on their income.

That said, who in Jacksonville actually makes a million dollars? A website called CompanyPay.com lists quite a few, though its most recent numbers are from 2009.

Those on the list include the CEO of CSX and the CEO of Winn-Dixie.

Several other executives in other companies also make a million dollars, either by their base salary or through bonuses and stock options.

Bower is also a millionaire. He said it's still too early to say, but what the president is proposing to reduce the deficit could change things for some of his clients.

So what does he think about it?

"I think it's fair to ask everybody to pitch in," he said. "So I think the gap is so large, I don't see how we could reduce it without everybody pitching in."

According to the most recent data available from the IRS, nearly a quarter-million people, or 0.1 percent, of everyone who filed their taxes actually make a million dollars in the United States.