The original purpose of meta refresh tags was exactly what you're referring to. A page needed to be updated or the info on it was no longer relevant but for some reason you did'nt want to delete the page maybe because you had a use for it in the future. However, for some reason Infoseeks' bots seems to rank a refresh page higher than a page without. (I have been baffled by this for a long time). However once knowledgable spammer figured this out, it very quickly became so that at least about 50% of the top 20 under any popular keyword was a meta refresh.
The main purpose for a meta refresh now it to present the search engine bot with a different page than you present to the searcher. Infoseek has taken such a hard line policy against meta refresh tags that they will penalize the page, ban you domain from the instant add url feature (which BTW isn't very &^&*%$&(* instant these dats) and even pull all the pages from that domain from their index. Of course that's if you get caught(and you will because your competitors will just re-submit your site for you and keep doing it until they pull the page) Alta Vista can do the same thing and so will Excite(I haven't heard of Excite banning you from submitting but they will pull all your pages from the index.)
I'm not only passing along what I've heard from other clients and friends, I'm also speaking from experience. I do NOT use meta refresh tags any longer. I strongly urge you to find another way around your problem as well. Getting busted is VERY expensive!